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Title: The Appreciation of Music - Vol. I (of 3)
Author: Surette, Thomas Whitney, Mason, Daniel Gregory
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                       THE APPRECIATION OF MUSIC

                                VOL. I.

    THE APPRECIATION OF MUSIC                        CLOTH $1.50

         _By Thomas Whitney Surette and Daniel Gregory Mason_


                               VOL. II.

    GREAT MODERN COMPOSERS                           CLOTH $1.50

                       _By Daniel Gregory Mason_

                               VOL. III.


                       _By Daniel Gregory Mason_

                              OTHER WORKS


                         DANIEL GREGORY MASON



                         APPRECIATION OF MUSIC

                               VOLUME I


                        THOMAS WHITNEY SURETTE


                         DANIEL GREGORY MASON

                            _NINTH EDITION_

            _Supplementary Volume of Musical Illustrations
                             Price $1.00_

                               NEW YORK

                          THE H. W. GRAY CO.

                            SOLE AGENTS FOR

                          NOVELLO & CO., LTD.

                          COPYRIGHT, 1907, BY
                        THE H. W. GRAY COMPANY

                   The Knickerbocker Press, New York

                            PREFATORY NOTE.

This book has been prepared in order to provide readers who wish to
listen to music intelligently, yet without going into technicalities,
with a simple and practical guide to musical appreciation written from
the listener's rather than from the professional musician's standpoint.

The authors believe that there is at the present moment a genuine need
for such a book. Teachers in schools, colleges, and universities,
educators in all parts of the country, and the music-loving public
generally, are every day realizing more vividly the importance of
applying to music the kind of study which has long been fruitfully
pursued in the other arts; and with the adoption, in 1906, by the
College Entrance Examination Board, of musical appreciation as a
subject which may be offered for entrance to college, this mode of
studying music has established itself firmly in our educational system.
Yet its progress is still hampered by the lack of suitable text-books.
The existing books are for the most part either too technical to
be easily followed by the general reader, or so rhapsodical and
impressionistic as to be of no use to him.

In the following pages an effort has been made, first, to present
to the reader in clear and untechnical language an account of the
evolution of musical art from the primitive folk-song up to the
symphony of Beethoven; second, to illustrate all the steps of this
evolution by carefully chosen musical examples, in the form of short
quotations in the text and of complete pieces printed in a supplement;
third, to facilitate the study of these examples by means of detailed
analysis, measure by measure, in many cases put into the shape of
tabular views; and fourth, to mark out the lines of further study by
suggesting collateral reading.

Too much stress cannot be laid on the fact that the music itself is the
central point of the scheme of study, to which the reader must return
over and over again. Carefully attentive, concentrated listening to the
typical pieces presented in the supplement is the essence of the work,
to which the reading of the text is to be considered merely as an aid.
These pieces are for the most part not beyond the reach of a pianist of
moderate ability.

At the same time, the authors have realized that some readers who might
profit much by such study will not be able to play, or have played for
them, even these pieces. For them, however, the music will still be
accessible through mechanical instruments.

In view of the fact that one of the chief difficulties in the study of
musical appreciation is the unfamiliarity of classical music to the
ordinary student, the use of an instrument by the students themselves
should form an important part of the work in classes where this book is
used as a text-book. It is hoped that with such practical laboratory
work by all members of the class, and with the help of collateral
reading done outside the class under the direction of the teacher,
and tested by written papers on assigned topics, the course of study
outlined here will be found well-suited to the needs of schools and
colleges, as well as of general readers.


                                  CHAPTER I.


    ELEMENTS OF MUSICAL FORM.                                        1

       I. INTRODUCTORY                                               1

      II. WHAT TO NOTICE FIRST                                       3

     III. MUSICAL MOTIVES                                            4

      IV. WHAT THE COMPOSER DOES WITH HIS MOTIVES                    6

       V. THE FIRST STEPS AS REVEALED BY HISTORY                    10

      VI. A SPANISH FOLK-SONG                                       12

     VII. BALANCE OF PHRASES                                        13

    VIII. SUMMARY                                                   14

                                  CHAPTER II.

    FOLK-SONGS.                                                     16

       I. FOLK-SONGS AND ART SONGS                                  17

      II. AN ENGLISH FOLK-SONG                                      20

     III. KEY AND MODULATION                                        21

      IV. BARBARA ALLEN                                             22

       V. NATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS IN FOLK-SONGS                    25

      VI. AN IRISH FOLK-SONG                                        26

     VII. A GERMAN FOLK-SONG                                        28

    VIII. SUMMARY                                                   30

                                  CHAPTER III.

    THE POLYPHONIC MUSIC OF BACH.                                   31

      I. WHAT IS POLYPHONY                                          32

     II. AN INVENTION BY BACH                                       33

                         EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 1.

    _Bach: Two-voice, Invention. No, VIII, in F-major_              34

    III. A FUGUE BY BACH      37

                         EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 2.

    _Bach: Fugue No. 2, in C-minor, in three voices.
       "Well-tempered Clavichord," Book I_                          38

     IV. GENERAL QUALITIES OF BACH'S WORK                           43

                                  CHAPTER IV.

    THE DANCE AND ITS DEVELOPMENT.                                  48

      I. MUSICAL CHARACTER OF DANCES                                48

     II. PRIMITIVE DANCES                                           52

                         EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 3.

    _Corelli: Gavotte in F-major_                                   56

    III. A BACH GAVOTTE       57

                         EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 4.

    _Bach: Gavotte in D-minor, from the Sixth English Suite_        57

                                  CHAPTER V.

    THE SUITE.                                                      62

      I. DERIVATION OF THE SUITE                                    62

     II. THE SUITES OF BACH                                         65

                         EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 5.

    _Bach: Prelude to English Suite, No. 3, in G-minor_             65

                         EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 6.

    _Bach: Sarabande in A-minor, from English Suite, No. 2_         68

                         EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 7.

    _Bach: Gigue, from French Suite, No. 4, in E-flat_              71

    III. THE HISTORIC IMPORTANCE OF THE SUITE                       72

                                  CHAPTER VI.

    THE RONDO.                                                      74

      I. DERIVATION OF THE RONDO                                    75

     II. A RONDO BY COUPERIN                                        79

                         EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 8.

    _Couperin: "Les Moissonneurs" ("The Harvesters")_               80

    III. FROM COUPERIN TO MOZART                                    83

     IV. A RONDO BY MOZART                                          86

                         EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 9.

    _Mozart: Rondo from Piano Sonata in B-flat major_               87

                                 CHAPTER VII.

    THE VARIATION FORM--THE MINUET.                                 93

      I. VARIATIONS BY JOHN BULL                                    94

     II. A GAVOTTE AND VARIATIONS BY RAMEAU                         97

    III. HANDEL'S "HARMONIOUS BLACKSMITH"                          100

                         EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 10.

   _Handel: "The Harmonious Blacksmith,"
       from the Fifth Suite for Clavichord_                        101


                         EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 11.

    _Haydn: Andante with Variations, in F-minor_                   104

      V. THE MINUET                                                108

                                 CHAPTER VIII.

    SONATA-FORM, I.                                                110

      I. COMPOSITE NATURE OF THE SONATA                            110

     II. ESSENTIALS OF SONATA-FORM                                 111

    III. A SONATA BY PHILIP EMANUEL BACH                           114

                         EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 12.

   _Philip Emanuel Bach: Piano Sonata in F-minor,
       first movement_                                             115

     IV. HARMONY AS A PART OF DESIGN                               125

      V. SUMMARY                                                   126

                              CHAPTER IX.

    SONATA-FORM, II.                                               128

      I. HAYDN AND THE SONATA-FORM                                 128

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 13.

   _Haydn: "Surprise Symphony," first movement_                    131

     II. MOZART AND THE SONATA-FORM                                134

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 14.

   _Mozart: Symphony in G-minor, first movement_                   136

    III. MOZART'S ARTISTIC SKILL                                   138

                              CHAPTER X.

    THE SLOW MOVEMENT.                                             143

      I. VARIETIES OF FORM                                         143

     II. SLOW MOVEMENTS OF PIANO SONATAS                           145

    III. THE STRING QUARTET                                        148

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 15.

   _Haydn: Adagio in E-flat major, from the String Quartet
        in G-major, op. 77, No. 1_                                 149

     IV. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS                                   151

      V. FORM OF HAYDN'S ADAGIO                                    152

     VI. MOZART AND THE CLASSIC STYLE                              153

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 16.

   _Mozart: Andante from String Quartet in C-major_                156

    VII. FORM OF MOZART'S ANDANTE                                  159

                              CHAPTER XI.

    BEETHOVEN--I.       161

      I. GENERAL CHARACTER OF BEETHOVEN'S WORK                     161

     II. ANALYSIS OF A BEETHOVEN SONATA                            166

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 17.

   _Beethoven: Pathétique Sonata, first movement_                  166

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 18.

   _Beethoven: Pathétique Sonata, second movement_                 170

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 19.

   _Beethoven: Pathétique Sonata, third movement_                  171

    III. SUMMARY                                                   174

                             CHAPTER XII.

    BEETHOVEN--II.                                                 176

      I. FORM AND CONTENT                                          176

     II. BEETHOVEN'S STYLE                                         178

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 20.

   _Beethoven: The Fifth Symphony, first movement_                 181


         THE FIFTH SYMPHONY                                        187

                             CHAPTER XIII.

    BEETHOVEN--III.                                                191

      I. THE SLOW MOVEMENT BEFORE BEETHOVEN                        191


                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 21.

   _Beethoven: The Fifth Symphony. Slow movement_                  195


     IV. THE HARMONIC PLAN                                         201

      V. THE UNIVERSALITY OF BEETHOVEN'S GENIUS                    203

                             CHAPTER XIV.

    BEETHOVEN--IV.                                                 205

      I. BEETHOVEN'S HUMOR                                         205

     II. SCHERZOS FROM BEETHOVEN'S SONATAS                         209

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 22.

   _Beethoven: Scherzo from the Twelfth Sonata_                    209

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 23.

   _Beethoven: Scherzo from the Fifteenth Sonata_                  210


                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 24.

   _Beethoven: Scherzo from the Fifth Symphony_                    218

     IV. GENERAL SUMMARY                                           221

                       THE APPRECIATION OF MUSIC

                              CHAPTER I.

                       ELEMENTS OF MUSICAL FORM.

                           I. INTRODUCTORY.

Of the thousands of people who consider themselves lovers of music, it
is surprising how few have any real appreciation of it. It is safe to
say that out of any score of persons gathered to hear music, whether
it be hymn, song, oratorio, opera, or symphony, ten are not listening
at all, but are looking at the others, or at the performers, or at the
scenery or programme, or are lost in their own thoughts. Five more
are basking in the sound as a dog basks in the sun--enjoying it in a
sleepy, languid way, but not actively following it at all. For them
music is, as a noted critic has said, "a drowsy reverie, relieved
by nervous thrills." Then there are one or two to whom the music is
bringing pictures or stories: visions of trees, cascades, mountains,
and rivers fill their minds, or they dream of princesses in old
castles, set free from magic slumber by brave heroes from afar. Perhaps
also there is one who takes a merely scientific interest in the music:
he is so busy analysing themes and labelling motives that he forgets
to enjoy. Only two out of the twenty are left, then, who are actively
following the melodies, living over again the thoughts of the composer,
really appreciating, by vigorous and delightful attention, the beauties
of the music itself.

Can we not, you and I, join the ranks of these true lovers of music?
Can we not learn to free our minds of all side issues as we listen--to
forget audience, performers, and scene, to forget princesses and
heroes, to forget everything except this unique experience that is
unfolding itself before our ears? Can we not, arousing ourselves from
our drowsy reverie, follow with active co-operation and vivid pleasure
each tone and phrase of the music, for itself alone?

One thing is sure: Unless we can do so, we shall miss the keenest
enjoyment that music has to offer. For this enjoyment is not passive,
but active. It is not enough to place ourselves in a room where music
is going on; we must by concentrated attention; absorb and mentally
digest it. Without the help of the alert mind, the ear can no more
hear than the eye can see. Sir Isaac Newton, asked how he had made his
wonderful discoveries, answered, "By intending my mind." In no other
way can the lover of music penetrate its mysteries.

Knowledge of musical technicalities, on the other hand, is not
necessary to appreciation, any more than knowledge of the nature of
pigments or the laws of perspective is necessary to the appreciation
of a picture. Such technical knowledge we may dispense with, if only
we are willing to work for our musical pleasure by giving active
attention, and if we have some guidance as to what to listen for among
so many and such at first confusing impressions. Such guidance to
awakened attention, such untechnical direction what to listen for, it
is the object of this book to give.

                       II. WHAT TO NOTICE FIRST.

It is no wonder, when one stops to think of it, that music, in spite of
its deeply stirring effect upon us, often defeats our best efforts to
understand what it is all about, and leaves us after it is over with
the uncomfortable sense that we have had only a momentary pleasure,
and can take nothing definite away with us. It is as if we had been
present at some important event, without having the least idea why it
was important, or what was its real meaning. All of us, at one time
or another, must have had this experience. And, indeed, how could it
be otherwise? Music gives us nothing that we can see with our eyes or
touch with our hands. It does not even give our ears definite words
that we can follow and understand. It offers us only sounds, soft or
loud, long or short, high or low, that flow on inexorably, and that too
often come to an end without leaving any tangible impressions behind
them. No wonder we are often bewildered by an experience so peculiar
and so fleeting.

Yet these sounds, subtle as they are, have a sense, a logic, an order
of their own; and if we can only learn how to approach them, we can get
at this inner orderliness that makes them into "music." The process of
perception which we have to learn here is somewhat akin to certain more
familiar processes. For example, what comes to our eyes from the outer
world is simply a mass of impressions of differently colored and shaped
spots of light; only gradually, as we grow out of infancy, do we learn
that one group of these spots of light shows us "a house," another "a
tree," and so on. Similarly words, as we easily realize in the case of
a foreign language, are to the untrained ear mere isolated sounds of
one kind or another; only with practice do we learn to connect groups
of them into intelligible sentences. So it is with music. The sounds
are at first mere sounds, separate, fragmentary, unrelated. Only after
we have learned to group them into definite melodies, as we group
spots of lights into houses or trees, and words into sentences, do
they become music for us. To approach sounds in such a way as to "make
sense" of them--that is the art of listening to music.

                         III. MUSICAL MOTIVES.

The first step in making sense of any unfamiliar thing is to get quite
clearly in mind its central subject or subjects, as, for example,
the fundamental idea of a poem, the main contention of an essay, the
characters of a novel, the text of a sermon. All music worthy of the
name has its own kind of subjects; and if we can learn to take note
of, remember, and recognize them, we shall be well on the road to
understanding what at first seems so intangible and bewildering.

A possible confusion, due to the use of terms, must here be guarded
against. The word "subject" is used in a special sense, in music, to
mean an entire theme or melody, of many measures' duration--thus we
speak of "the first subject of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony," meaning the
entire contents of measures 6-21. Now this is obviously a different
meaning of the word "subject" from the general one we use when we speak
of the subject of a poem or a picture, as the fundamental idea about
which it all centers. This long musical "subject" all centers about a
little idea of four notes, announced in the first two measures of the

                            [Music: score]

But as we are already using the word "subject" to mean something else,
we must have another name for this brief characteristic bit out of
which so much is made, and for this the word "motive" is used. Here
again there is a difference of usage which must be noted. When we
speak of a "motive" or "leading motive" of Wagner, we mean not a short
group of this kind, but an entire melody associated with some special
character or idea; e. g., "the Siegfried motive." Let us here, however,
keep the word "motive" to mean a short characteristic group of tones
or "figure," and the word "subject" to mean a complete melody or theme
built up out of one or more motives.

The smallest elements into which we can analyze the subject-matter of
music are "_motives_"--_that is, bits of tune, groups of from two to a
dozen tones, which have an individuality of their own, so that one of
them cannot possibly be confused with another_.

"Yankee Doodle," for instance, begins with a motive of seven notes,
which is quite individual, and wholly different from the motive of
six notes at the beginning of "God Save the King," or the motive of
five notes at the beginning of the "Blue Danube" waltz. The three
motives are so different that nobody of ordinary musical intelligence
would confound them one with another, any more than he would confound
the subject of Longfellow's "Psalm of Life" with that of Browning's
"Incident of the French Camp," or the characters in "Dombey and Son"
with those in "Tom Jones." The whole musical individuality of each of
the three tunes grows out of the individuality of its special motive.

Here, evidently, is a matter of primary importance to the would-be
intelligent music lover. If he can learn to distinguish with certainty
whatever "motives" he hears, half the battle is already gained.

Four points will be noticeable in any motive he may hear. Its notes
will vary as to (1) length, (2) accent, (3) meter or grouping into
regular measures of two, three, or four notes, and (4) pitch. If he
can once form the habit of noticing them, he will have no further
difficulty in recognizing the themes of any music, and, what is even
more important, following the various evolutions through which they
pass as the composer works out his ideas. The importance of such active
participation in the composer's thought cannot be exaggerated. Without
it there cannot be any true appreciation of music; through it alone
does the listener emerge from "drowsy reverie, relieved by nervous
thrills" into the clear daylight of genuine artistic enjoyment.


Let us put ourselves now in the place of a composer who has thought of
certain motives, and who wishes to make them into a complete piece of
music. What shall we do next with these scraps of melody, attractive
but fragmentary? Now, one thing we can see at once from our knowledge
of arts other than music. We must somehow or other keep repeating
our central ideas, or our piece will wander off into mazes and fail
to have any unity or intelligibility; yet we must also vary these
repetitions, or they will become monotonous, and the finished piece
will have no variety or sustained interest. The poet must keep harking
back to the main theme of his poem, or it will degenerate into an
incoherent rhapsody; but he must present new phases of the root idea,
or he will simply repeat himself and bore his readers. The architect,
having chosen a certain kind of column, say, for his building, must not
place next to it another style of column, from a different country and
period, or his building will become a mess, a medley, a nightmare; but
neither must he make his entire building one long colonnade of exactly
similar columns, for then it would be hopelessly dull. In short, every
artist has to solve in his own way the problem of combining _unity of
general impression_ with _variety of detail_. Without either one of
these essentials, no art can be beautiful.

Here we are, then, with our motive and with the problem before us of
repeating it with modifications sufficient to lend it a new interest,
but not radical enough to hide its identity.

If we are making our music for several voices or instruments, or for
several parts all played on one instrument like the organ or the
piano, we can let these different voices or parts sound the motive
in succession. If, while the new voice takes the motive, the voice
previously brought in goes on with something new, then we shall have a
very agreeable mingling of unity and variety. This is the method used
in all canons, fugues, inventions, and so on, and in vocal rounds. For
an example, take the round called "Three Blind Mice" (see Figure I).

                            [Music: score]
                     FIGURE I. "THREE BLIND MICE."

  Three blind mice, three blind mice, See how they run,
  see how they run, They all ran af - ter the farm - er's wife, Who
  cut off their tails with a carv - ing knife. Did you
  ev - er see such a sight in your life as three blind mice.

One person, A, begins this melody alone, and sings it through. When
he has reached the third measure, B strikes in at the beginning.
When B in his turn has reached the third measure (A being now at the
fifth), C comes in in the same way. In a word, the three people sing
the same tune _in rotation_ (whence the name, "round"). And the tune,
of course, is so contrived that all its different sections, sounded
simultaneously by the various voices, merge in harmony. This kind
of literal repetition by one part of what another has just done is
called "imitation," and is a fundamental principle of all that great
department of music known as the "polyphonic," or many-voiced.

But now, notice another kind of repetition in this little tune.
Measures 3 and 4 practically repeat, though at a different place in the
scale, the three-note motive of measures 1 and 2. (In order to conform
to the words, the second note is now divided into two, but this is an
unimportant alteration.) The naturalness of this kind of repetition is
obvious. Having begun with our motive in one place, it easily occurs to
us to go on by repeating it, _in the same voice, but higher or lower in
pitch than at first_. The mere fact that it is higher or lower gives it
the agreeable novelty we desire, yet it remains perfectly recognizable.
We may call this sort of repetition, which, like "imitation," is of the
greatest utility to the composer, "transposition," to indicate that the
motive is shifted to a new place or pitch.

But suppose we do not wish either to imitate or to transpose our
motive, is there any other way in which we can effectively repeat it?
Yes:--we can follow its first appearance with something else, entirely
different, and after this interval of contrast, come back again and
_restate_ our motive just as it was at first. Looking at "Three Blind
Mice" again, we see that this device, as well as the other two, is used
there. After the fifth, sixth, and seventh measures, which contain the
contrast, the eighth measure returns literally to the original motive
of three notes, thus rounding out and completing the tune. This third
kind of repetition, which may be called "restatement after contrast,"
or simply "restatement," is also widely in use in all kinds of music. A
most familiar instance occurs in "Way Down upon the Suwanee River."

Let us keep distinctly in mind, in all our study, these three modes of
repetition, which are of radical importance to musical design: 1st,
the imitation of a motive in a different "voice" or "part"; 2d, the
transposition of a motive, in the same voice, to a higher or lower
place in the scale; 3d, the restatement of a motive already once
stated, after an intervening contrast. We shall constantly see these
kinds of repetition--imitation, transposition, and restatement--used
by the great composers to give their music that unity in variety, that
variety in unity, without which music can be neither intelligible nor


It must not be thought that these ways of varying musical motives
without destroying their identity were quickly found out by musicians.
On the contrary, it took centuries, literally centuries, to discover
these devices that seem to us so simple. All savage races are musically
like children; they cannot keep more than one or two short bits of tune
in mind at the same time, and these they simply repeat monotonously.
The first two examples in Figure II, taken from Sir Hubert Parry's "The
Evolution of the Art of Music," give an idea of the first stage of the
savage musician.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]


The first is from Australia, the second from Tongataboo. Both are made
of a single motive endlessly repeated without relief.

In a slightly higher stage, two motives are used, but with little more
skill. Number 3, in Figure II, is an example. Then come tunes in which
one or more motives, repeated literally, are still the main feature
of the design, but in which a certain amount of variety is introduced
between the repetitions (see Number 4, in Figure II, a Russian tune).
Here the little characteristic figure of four short notes and a long,
marked N.B., is agreeably relieved by other material.

                       VI. A SPANISH FOLK-SONG.

From such primitive music as this to the beautiful "folk-song" of
the modern nations is a long step indeed. Even in the simplest real
folk-songs, the means of varied repetition of ideas that we have
been discussing are used with an ingenuity which places them on an
infinitely higher level than these primitive efforts of savages. It
is true that in folk-songs, which were sung by a single voice instead
of a group of voices, the device of "imitation" was used hardly at
all:--that is available only where there are several different voices
to imitate one another. But in order to see what good use was made of
"transposition" and "restatement" we need take only a single example,
from Galicia in Spain (see Figure III). Let us examine this tune in
some detail, as a preparation for a further study of folk-songs in a
later article.

                            [Music: score]
                        From Galicia in Spain.

                        FIGURE III. FOLK-SONG.

The tune, in spite of its impression of considerable variety, is
founded entirely on two motives--

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

In the sixth and seventh measures, (1) is so altered and transposed
that it ends on D instead of on C, and in the eighth, ninth, and tenth
measures (2) is transposed so as to end on G instead of on C. By these
transpositions the important element of _contrast_ is introduced,
and when therefore we have, at the end, the two motives given again
almost exactly as to first, we get, by this restatement after contrast,
a delightful sense of unity and completeness. The means here are
wonderfully simple, but the effect is truly artistic.

                       VII. BALANCE OF PHRASES.

An important principle of musical design is introduced to our notice
by this little melody. It will be observed that it divides itself into
three equal parts: the statement, measures 1-5; the contrast, measures
6-10; and the restatement, measures 11-15. (We may represent these
by the letters A, B, and A.) Now these three parts, being of equal
length and similar material, balance each other just as lines in poetry
do. One makes us expect another, which, when it comes, fulfills our
expectation. Thus we get the impression of regularity, order, symmetry.
This element of symmetry, or the balancing of one phrase of melody by
another, like the balancing of one line of poetry by another, as in the

  "The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
  And leaves the world to darkness and to me."

is a most important one, as we shall soon see, in all modern music.

This balance of one large section of a melody by another is often
referred to by the term "rhythm," owing to its analogy with "rhythm"
in architecture (in the symmetry, for example, of two halves of a
building). But it is simpler to keep the word rhythm, in music, to mean
rather a characteristic combination of tones, as regards their relative
length and accent, as, "the rhythm of the first motive in Beethoven's
Fifth Symphony" (see motive quoted on page 5). In the present articles
the word will be used in this latter sense.

                            VIII. SUMMARY.

In this chapter we have seen how music, in spite of its subtle,
intangible nature, has certain definite features called "motives,"
which we can learn to recognize and follow by noticing the length,
accent, metrical arrangement, and movement "up" or "down," of the tones
of which they are composed.

We have seen that these primary motives are worked up into complete
pieces of music by being repeated with such alterations as serve to
vary them pleasantly without disguising them beyond recognition. The
chief kinds of modified repetition we have noticed are "imitation,"
"transposition," and "restatement after contrast." All of these we have
seen illustrated in "Three Blind Mice."

We have remarked how very gradually musicians got away from monotonous
harping on their ideas by using these devices. In connection with
the Spanish folk-song, we have noted that, although imitation was not
available, transposition and restatement were most effectively used.

Finally, we have seen that music, like poetry, has its larger balance
of phrases, by which whole parts of a melody are set off against one
another and made to balance, just as lines do in verse.

In succeeding chapters we shall trace out all these principles in more


_Parry: "The Evolution of the Art of Music," Chapters I and II;
Dickinson: "The Study of the History of Music," Chapter I; Grove:
"Dictionary of Music and Musicians," article "Form."_

                              CHAPTER II.


In the first chapter we have traced the evolution of the formal element
in music, the element through which it gradually attained coherence. We
have seen that this element is an expression of that common sense which
rules in all things; that the various expedients adopted in music as
means of keeping the central idea before the listener, and, at the same
time, providing him with sufficient variety to retain his interest, are
dictated by that sense of fitness that operates everywhere in life. And
these simple formal principles, so conceived, will be found to underlie
the larger musical forms that will engage our attention in succeeding

Let us always keep in mind that, while the psychological effect of
music remains a considerable mystery, and the appreciation of great
music must be a personal and individual act involving a certain
receptivity and sensitiveness to musical impressions, yet the
perception of the logic or sense in a piece of music is a long step
towards understanding it, and one of the best means of cultivating that
receptivity and sensitiveness.

Folk-songs have been described by an eminent writer[1] as "the first
essays made by man in distributing his notes so as to express his
feelings in terms of design." We shall shortly examine some typical
folk-songs in order to see how this design gradually became larger and
more various, and how, through this process, the foundations were laid
for the masterpieces of modern instrumental music. We shall see that
this advance has accompanied an advance in civilization; that as men's
lives have become better ordered, as higher standards of living and
thinking have appeared, the sense of beauty has grown until, finally,
this steady progress has resulted in the creation of certain permanent
types. It must be kept in mind, however, that these primitive types are
largely the result of instinctive effort, and not of conscious musical
knowledge. The science of music, as we know it, did not exist when
these songs were written.

                     I. FOLK-SONGS AND ART SONGS.

In order to distinguish between Folk-songs and songs like those of
Schubert and Schumann, musicians call the latter "Art" songs. The
folk-song is a naïve product, springing almost unconsciously from the
hearts of simple people, and not intended to convey any such definite
expression of the meaning of the words as is conveyed in modern songs.
While there are specimens[2] of the art song that closely approach the
simplicity and beauty of the folk-song, the art song in general is not
only of wider range and of wider application to men's thoughts and
feelings, but it also has, as an integral part of it, an accompaniment
of which the folk-song, in its pure state, is entirely devoid.

A further distinguishing characteristic of the folk-song is that it is
often composed in one of the old ecclesiastical "modes."

These modes were old forms of the scale that existed before our modern
harmonic system came into use. The following English folk-song, called
"Salisbury Plain," is in the "Aeolian" mode.

                            [Music: score]
                              FIGURE IV.

This song is written in the scale represented by the white keys of
a pianoforte beginning on A, and the peculiarly quaint effect of it
is due to the unusual intervals of that scale as compared with our
common scale forms. There are various modes[3] called "Phrygian,"
"Dorian," etc., each having its own peculiar quality. This quaintness
and characteristic quality to be observed in modal folk-songs almost
entirely disappears when an accompaniment of modern harmony is added,
as is often done.

Folk-songs occupied a much more important place in the lives of the
people who used them than is commonly supposed. When we consider that
at the time the earliest of them were written few people could read
or write, that books were printed in Latin, and that there were no
newspapers, railways, or telegraphs, we can understand how large a part
these old songs played in the scheme of life. The strolling singer was
the newspaper of the time. Furthermore, the general illiteracy of the
people made of the folk-song a natural vent for their feelings. With a
limited vocabulary at their disposal, it was natural that they should
use the song as a medium of expression for their joys and sorrows.
Gesture was also part of their language, and in a modified way, as a
means of expression, may be said to have performed something of the
function of song. Many of the oldest melodies existed as an adjunct
to dancing and religious ceremonials, and were, therefore, to some
extent utilitarian. But so intimate was their relation to the ideas and
feelings of the people who used them that, in spite of the crudeness
and simplicity of the medium employed, the songs of the various nations
are entirely distinct from each other, and to a remarkable degree
express the characteristics of the people who produced them.

The songs used with this chapter are chosen chiefly to illustrate the
various methods (already described) of attaining variety and unity
in music. If little space is devoted here to other considerations,
the reader must bear in mind that our purpose is to lead him finally
to as complete an appreciation as possible of the masterpieces of
instrumental music, and that this appreciation must begin with
a perception of the relationships between the various parts of a
primitive piece of music.

                       II. AN ENGLISH FOLK-SONG.

In Figure V is shown the old English song "Polly Oliver."[4]

                            [Music: score]
                               FIGURE V.

This is a traditional song handed down without any record of its
origin, from generation to generation. Its unknown composer has
managed very deftly to make it hang together. A good deal is made, in
particular, of the characteristic little motive of three notes which
first occurs at the beginning of the third measure.[5] In the very next
measure, the fourth, this is "transposed" to a lower position. Going
on, we find it coming in again, most effectively, in measure 7, this
time transposed upwards; and it occurs again twice at the end of the
melody. Thus a certain unity is given to the entire tune. Again, the
device of repetition after contrast is well used. After measures 1-9,
which state the main idea of the melody, measures 9-13 come in with a
pronounced contrast; but this is immediately followed up, in measures
13-17, by a literal repetition of the first four measures, which
serves to round out and satisfactorily complete the whole. We thus see
illustrated once more the scheme of form which, in the last chapter, we
denoted by the letters A-B-A.

This song presents a further element of form by means of which much
variety is imparted to music.

                       III. KEY AND MODULATION.

It will be noticed that the first phrase of "Polly Oliver" (measures
1-5) moves about the tone E-flat and ends upon it with the effect of
coming to rest, and that the second phrase (measures 5-9) similarly
moves about and comes to rest on the tone B-flat. The last phrase
(13-17), like the first, moves about E-flat. This moving about a
certain tone, which is, so to speak, the center of gravity of the
whole phrase, is called by musicians "being in the key of" that tone;
and when the center of gravity changes, musicians say that the piece
"modulates" from one key to another. Thus, this first phrase is in the
key of E-flat, the second modulates to the key of B-flat, and the song
later modulates back again to the key of E-flat. Here we have another
very important principle in modern music, the principle of "key"
or "tonality,"--important because it makes possible a great deal of
variety that still does not interfere with unity. By putting the first
part of a piece in one key, the second part in another, and finally the
last part in the original key, we can get much diversity of effect, and
at the same time end with the same impression with which we began. We
shall only gradually appreciate the immense value to the musician of
this arrangement of keys.

A further element of form is found in "Polly Oliver," namely, the
balance of phrases. This balance of phrases one against another is
derived ultimately from the timed motions of the body in dancing, or
from the meter of the four line verse to which the music was sung. And
this balance of phrases, derived from these elemental sources, still
dominates in the melodies of the great masters, although it is managed
with constantly increasing freedom and elasticity, so that we find in
modern music little of that sing-song mechanical regularity which we
may note in most folk-songs and dances.

                          IV. BARBARA ALLEN.

Let us now examine another old English song, "Barbara Allen."

                            [Score: music]
                              FIGURE VI.

  In Scar-let Town where I was born,
    There was a fair maid dwellin',
  Made ev' - ry youth cry "well-a-day,"
    Her name was Barbara Allen.

  All in the merry month of May,
    When green buds they were swellin',
  Young Jemmy Grove on his death bed lay
    For love of Barbara Allen.

  Then slowly, slowly she came up,
    And slowly she came nigh him,
  And all she said when there she came:
    "Young man, I think you're dying."

  When he was dead, and laid in grave,
    Her heart was struck with sorrow.
  "O mother, mother!--make my bed,
    For I shall die to-morrow!"

  She, on her death bed as she lay,
    Begg'd to be buried by him,
  And sore repented of the day
    That she did e'er deny him.

  "Farewell!" she said, "ye maidens all,
    And shun the fault I fell in.
  Henceforth take warning by the fall
    Of cruel Barbara Allen."

This also is a traditional song. The words celebrate the emotion of
unrequited love, a favorite subject with the old ballad writers. In the
music, we shall find a further illustration of the use of the devices
already referred to.

We note first of all that there is throughout the melody a constant use
of one rhythmic motive. This figure appears in the first four notes of
the song, and is found at the beginning of every other measure save
the fifth and the last. While these transpositions are not so literal
as is that at the beginning of "Polly Oliver," they are nevertheless
sufficiently close to serve the purpose of preserving unity while still
providing variety. The tune is held together by this insistence on the
motive; there is considerable variety in the melody of the various
phrases, but through it all runs this persistent rhythm.

Although "Barbara Allen" does not, strictly speaking, contain a
modulation, since there is in the melody no note foreign to the key
in which the song is written, yet the first and last phrases center
round D, the key-note, while the second phrase (to the words "There
was a fair maid dwellin'") centers round and comes to rest on A, thus
producing the effect of a half pause, as if punctuated with a semicolon.

A very important point should be noted in reference to these half
pauses or modulations in a melody, namely, that they usually occur on
the fifth note of the scale of the original key, called by musicians
the "dominant." In the three songs we have considered thus far the
second phrase has so ended. This modulation to the dominant is the most
common one in music, and we shall often have occasion to refer to it in
later chapters.

Finally, a comparison of the third phrase of the music--"there was a
fair maid dwellin'"--with the last--"her name was Barbara Allen"--will
reveal a considerable similarity in both rhythm and melodic contour
or curve. By means of this similarity, and by the return, in the last
phrase, to the original key, our sense of proportion is satisfied and a
certain logic is imparted to the tune. It should also be noticed that
the melody is a perfect example of that balance of phrases already
referred to, the two halves (1-5 and 5-9) being of precisely the same


"Barbara Allen" is like many other English tunes in being
straightforward, positive, and, in a measure, unromantic. It lacks the
soft, undulating, and poetic element to be observed in the Spanish
folk-song (see Chapter I), but has a vigor and somewhat matter-of-fact
quality characteristic of the race that produced it. The story was
evidently popular in the olden time, as many versions of it with
different music have been found all over England. All the important
events of the times were celebrated in song. There were, for example,
many songs about Napoleon and the danger of an invasion of England,
such as "Boney's Lamentation." Songs were written about political
affairs and about religion, and there were many dealing with popular
characters such as Robin Hood. Celebrated criminals became the
subjects of songs, while poaching and other lawless acts committed
by the peasants--which in those days were punished with the greatest
severity--were frequently used as the basis for the strolling singers'
ballads. Such titles as "Here's adieu to all Judges and Juries," "The
Gallant Poachers," and "Botany Bay" are frequently to be found.

From a perusal of a large number of the old songs one gathers a quite
comprehensive idea of the ways of life and the thoughts and feelings of
the people of "Merrie England." A kind of rude philosophy seems to have
evolved itself out of the mass of common sentiment. And the verses,
rude as they are, have a characteristic directness and vigor that gives
them a value of their own.

Plain, definite narrative characterizes most of the English songs.
The name of the hero and heroine are usually given with the greatest
accuracy, as are all the other details of the story. One old English
song, for example, begins as follows:

  "'Twas the eighteenth of August,
  The eighth month of the year."

while another is entitled:

  "The Three Butchers; or, Gibson, Wilson, and Johnson."

Still another begins:

  "Eli Sykes, in the town of Batley,
  Killed his sweetheart, Hannah Brooke."

This quality is in marked contrast to the more romantic and poetic
element to be found in the songs of many European nations. This
energetic and straightforward quality in old English melodies does not
prevent them from being beautiful; they are true to human nature and
unspoiled by sophistry.

                        VI. AN IRISH FOLK-SONG.

Our next illustration is an Irish song called "The Flight of the
Earls," one of the most beautiful of melodies. (See Figure VII.)

In this illustration the curved lines represent the phrases and
correspond to the lines of the poem, while the brackets show the larger
formal structure of the melody, A being the statement, or clause of
assertion, B the clause of contrast, and A the restatement. A mere
glance at this music will show how certain phrases are used throughout
to hold the melody together. The first and second measures,[6] for
example, contain a phrase of which one part or the other will be found
in almost every measure of the song. The first half of the song ends
at 9 with a modulation to the fifth above, or dominant, while the
"restatement after contrast" (beginning on the last note of measure 13)
is quite clear.

                            [Music: score]
                              FIGURE VII.

Certain details may be pointed out for the benefit of the student. The
first phrase, ending on the note D (5), gives a sense of being poised
for a moment before proceeding to the next note, D not being a point
of rest such as is supplied by the C with which the second phrase
ends--at 9. The same device is used at the end of the third phrase
(13). The clause of contrast (9-13), while based on the rhythm of the
motive of three notes at the beginning of the song, is distinguished
from either of the other two parts by the absence of the characteristic
sixteenth-note figure of measure two.

This song justifies all that we have said about the poetic beauty
of folk-songs. Within its short compass are contained elements of
perfection that may well astonish those who look on folk-songs as
immaterial to the development of the art of music. For this melody is
as complete and perfect an expression of that natural idealism that
seems to have animated human beings from the earliest times as is the
present day music of our own ideals.

                       VII. A GERMAN FOLK-SONG.

The next illustration is a well known German folk-song called "Sister

                            [Music: score]
                             FIGURE VIII.

This melody is one of great beauty and tenderness. Like many other
German folk-songs, it is full of quiet sentiment, not over-strained,
but sweet and wholesome. It contains certain formal elements with
which we are already familiar: (1) "Repetition," between the first
motive in measures 1 and 2, between measures 5-6 and 7-8, and between
measures 3-4 and 11-12; (2) "transposition," where the motive in
measure 9 is inverted in measure 10 (this is an imitation of rhythm
but not of melody); (3) "restatement after contrast," the last four
measures being, in effect, a repetition of the first four with the
first motive from measure 9 inverted; (4) "modulation," the first
phrase being in A-minor, the second in C-major, and the last in A-minor
again. This is a particularly clear example of a modulation, as the
three phrases distinctly centre round their respective key-notes, or
tonal centres. It should be noted that the modulation is not to the
fifth above the key-note, as in most of the other examples, but to the
third above. This is common in songs in the minor key.

Quite a distinct charm is imparted to the first phrase of this melody
by the use at the _end_ of measure 2 of the little rhythmic figure
that has already appeared at the _beginning_ of the first and second
measures. There is an unexpected charm in this shifting of a motive
from one part of a measure to another. We shall see this device of
musical construction in many of the larger works that are dealt with in
later chapters.

There are a great many beautiful German folk-songs which would be well
worth study here did space permit. The student is referred to such
collections as Reimann's "Das Deutsche Lied," where the best of them
will be found.

                            VIII. SUMMARY.

In this brief study of folk-songs we have noted that the stream of pure
native melody was independent of the art-song and followed its own
natural channel, but that, in spite of its limitation, presents to us
some well developed formal types.

We have seen how important a part modulation plays in the plan of a
piece of music, and how, by means of a change of key, a new kind of
variety may be imparted to a melody.

We have observed how closely the old songs reflect the characteristics
of the people who produced them, and how intimate was the connection
between the songs--with the verses to which they were set--and the
thoughts and feelings of those who used them.

In studying the German folk-song we have observed a subtle element of
form, namely, the shifting of a motive from one part of a measure to

In the next chapter we shall take up the study of simple polyphonic
pieces, such as have already been referred to in dealing with the
round, "Three Blind Mice."


_Parry: "The Evolution of the Art of Music," Chapter III; Grove's
"Dictionary of Music and Musicians," articles "Song" and "Form."_


[1] Sir Hubert Parry in "The Evolution of the Art of Music."

[2] Such as Schubert's "Haiden-Röslein."

[3] The reader will find an account of these modes in Grove's
Dictionary of Music under "Modes, Ecclesiastical."

[4] In Hadow's "Songs of the British Islands" (Curwen & Co., London).

[5] The first partial measure is counted as one.

[6] The partial measure at the beginning is counted as one.

                             CHAPTER III.

                     THE POLYPHONIC MUSIC OF BACH.

We have seen in the last chapter some typical examples of folk-songs,
which have served to give us an impression of folk-music in general,
since it always conforms, in all essentials, to the type they
illustrate. Folk-music is generally simple and unsophisticated in
expression; it is generally cast in short and obvious forms; and
it generally consists of a single melody, either sung alone or
accompanied, on some primitive instrument, by a few of the commonest

The prominence given to a single melody by music of this type,
however, makes it unsuitable for groups of different voices, such
as a vocal quartet or a chorus; and therefore when musicians began
to pay attention to music intended for church use they had to work
out a different style, in which several parts, sung by the various
voices, could be strongly individualized. This led to what is called
the "polyphonic," or "many-voiced" style. Another reason why the
ecclesiastical style always remained unlike the secular was that the
learned church musicians disdained any use of those methods which grew
up in connection with folk-songs and dances, considering them profane
or vulgar. Had they been willing to study them, they might have added
much vitality to church music; but they maintained an attitude of
aloofness and of contempt for the popular music.

                        I. WHAT IS "POLYPHONY?"

The peculiarity of the polyphonic style is that that portion of the
music which accompanies the chief melody is no longer a series of
chords as in folk-music, but a tissue of secondary melodies, like
the chief one, and hardly less important. (This arises, as we have
just suggested, from the necessity of giving each of the four voices
or groups of voices,--soprano, alto, tenor, and bass,--something
individual and interesting to do.) The difference between the two
styles is apparent even to the eye, on the printed page. A folk-song,
or any other piece in "homophonic" or "one-voiced" style, has the
characteristic appearance of a line of notes on top (the melody), with
groups of other notes hanging down from it here and there, like clothes
from a clothes line (the accompaniment). A Bach fugue, in print,
presents the appearance of four (or more) interlacing lines of notes.
(See Figure IX.)

                            [Music: score]
                  (_a_) Beginning of "Polly Oliver."

     While the dawn on the mountain was mist - y and grey,

                            [Music: score]
               (_b_) Passage from Bach Fugue in G-minor
                  "Well-Tempered Clavichord," Book I.


Historically speaking, the first great culmination of the polyphonic
style is found in the ecclesiastical choruses of Palestrina
(1528-1594); but it was not until somewhat later that this style was
applied to instrumental music. In the inventions, canons, preludes,
toccatas, and fugues of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), we get
the first great examples of polyphony as applied, not to merely
ecclesiastical music, but to music which by its secular character and
its variety of emotional expression is universal in scope.

                       II. AN INVENTION BY BACH.

Such is the ingenuity and the perfection of detail in Bach's works in
the polyphonic style that a life-time might be spent in studying them.
They have that delicacy of inner adjustment more usually found in the
works of nature than in those of man; their melodies grow out of their
motive germs as plants put forth leaves and flowers; their separate
voices fit into one another like the crystals in a bit of quartz; and
the whole fabric of the music stands on its elemental harmonies as
solidly as the mountains on their granite bases. We can hope to see as
little of this august country of Bach's mind by analyzing a few pieces
as a man may see of the hills and moors in a day's excursion--but,
nevertheless, a beginning must be made.

The essential features of this music may be seen in even so simple
a piece as the Invention in F-major, number 7, in the two-voiced
inventions, though it is written for only two voices and is but
thirty-four measures long.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 1.

          _Bach: Two-voice Invention No. VIII., in F-Major._

The subject or theme of this invention is a melody of two measures'
length, first given out by the soprano, and consists of two motives or
characteristic figures, one in eighth-notes, staccato, making a series
of leaps, thus:

                            [Music: score]

and one a graceful descending run in sixteenth-notes, thus

                            [Music: score]

Notice how charmingly the staccato and the legato are contrasted in
these motives.

The entire invention is made out of this subject by means of those
methods of varied repetition discussed in Chapter I., especially
"imitation" and "transposition." For example, the lower voice, which
we will call the bass, "imitates," almost exactly, through the first
eleven measures, what the soprano says a measure before it. On the
other hand, in measure 12 the bass starts the ball a-rolling by giving
the subject (this time in the key of C), and the soprano takes its turn
at imitating. Then, from measure 29 to the end, it is again the soprano
which leads and the bass which imitates. The student should trace out
these imitations in detail, admiring the skill with which they are made
always harmonious.

There are many instances of transposition also, most of them carried
out so systematically that they form what musicians call "sequences."

A sequence is a series of transpositions of a motive, shifting it in
pitch either upward or downward, and carried out systematically through
several repetitions. Examples: measures 4, 5, and 6, transposition
of the motive in soprano, three repetitions; measures 21, 22, 23,
transposition of motives of both voices, three repetitions; measures
24, 25, transposition of motives of both voices, two repetitions. The
second of these sequences is shown in Figure X.

It will be noted what a strong sense of regular, orderly progress these
sequences impart to the melodies.

It is interesting to see that the same general scheme of keys is
embodied in this invention that we have observed in folk-songs: i. e.,
the modulation to the "dominant" in the middle (measure 12), and the
return at the end to the original key. This divides the piece into two
unequal halves, the first making an excursion away from the home key,
the second returning home--much as the King of France, with twenty
thousand men, marched up the hill and then marched down again. Such a
two-part structure is observable in thousands of short pieces, and is
called by musicians "binary form."

                            [Music: score]
        FIGURE X. "Sequence" from Bach's Invention in F-Major.

The difference in texture between this piece and any folk-song or dance
will best be appreciated by playing over the bass part alone, when it
will be seen that, far from being mere "filling" or accompaniment, it
is a delightful melody in itself, almost as interesting as its more
prominent companion. Indeed, in the whole invention there are only two
tones (the C and the A in the final chord) which are not melodically
necessary. Such is the splendid economy and clearness of Bach's musical

Before going further, the reader should examine for himself several
typical inventions, as, for example, No. I, in C-major; No. II, in
C-minor; No. X, in G-major, and No. XIII, in A-minor, in this set
by Bach, noting in each case: (1) the individuality of the motives
used, (2) the imitations from voice to voice, (3) the sequences,
(4) the modulations, (5) the polyphonic character, as evidenced by
the self-sufficiency and melodic interest of the bass, and (6) the
structural division of the entire invention into more or less distinct

                         III. A FUGUE BY BACH.

The same general method of composing that is exemplified in the
inventions we see applied on a larger scale in the fugues of Bach.

The definition of a fugue given by some wag--"a piece of music in which
one voice after another comes in, and one listener after another goes
out"--is true only when the listeners are uneducated. For a trained
ear there is no keener pleasure than following the windings of a well
written fugue. It is, at the same time, true that a fugue presents
especial difficulties to the ear, because of its intricately interwoven
melodies. In a folk-song there is not only but one melody, with nothing
to distract the attention from it, but it is composed in definite
phrases of equal length, like the lines in poetry, with a pause at the
end of each, in which the mind of the listener can take breath, so
to speak, and rest a moment before renewing attention. Not so in the
fugue, where the bits of tune occur all through the whole range of the
music, are of varying lengths and character, and overlap in such a way
that there are few if any moments of complete rest for the attention.
Perhaps this is the chief reason why fugues have the reputation of
being "dry."

As is suggested by the derivation of the word "fugue," from the Latin
"fuga," a flight, the characteristic peculiarity of the form is the
entrance, one after another, of the several voices, which thus seem to
pursue or chase one another, to go through a sort of musical game of
"tag," in which first one and then another is "It." First one voice
begins with the "subject" of the fugue, in the "tonic" key (key in
which the piece is written). Next enters a second voice, "imitating"
the first, but presenting the subject not in the "tonic," but in the
"dominant" key. Then a third, once more in the tonic, and finally the
fourth, again in the dominant. After these entrances all four voices
proceed to play with the subject, transposing it in all sorts of
ingenious ways, and straying off at times into episodes, generally in
"sequence" form, but finally coming back, towards the end of the fugue,
with renewed energy to the subject itself. All this may be seen in such
an example as the Fugue in C-minor in Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavichord."

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 2.

     _Bach: Fugue No. 2, C-minor, in three voices. "Well-Tempered
                       Clavichord."_ Book 1.[7]

Like all the fugues in Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavichord," this fugue
is preceded by a prelude, in free style, like a series of embroideries
on chords, intended to prepare the nearer for the more active musical
enjoyment of the fugue to come. Parry, in the "Oxford History of
Music," says of the Prelude of Bach and Handel: "It might be a simple
series of harmonies such as a player might extemporize before beginning
the Suite or the Fugue, [such is the case in the present prelude]; or,
its theme might be treated in a continuous consistently homogeneous
movement unrestricted as to length, but never losing sight of the
subject" ... etc.

A fugal subject is usually longer and more pretentious than an
invention subject, and more nearly approaches what we should call a
complete melody. It may contain several motives. Moreover, while the
second voice is "answering" the subject, the first voice continues
with further melody, and if this is of definite, individual character
it may easily assume almost as great importance as the subject itself,
in which case we may give it the name of "counter-subject." In Figure
XI the subject and counter-subject of this fugue are shown. The long
brackets show subject and counter-subject; the short brackets show
the three chief motives, marked _a_, _b_, and _c_. The simplicity of
the melodic material is noticeable. Motive _a_, which, with its three
repetitions, forms most of the subject, consists of five tones, in a
charming and unforgettable rhythm of two shorts and three longs. Motive
_b_ is simply a descending scale, in equal short notes. Motive _c_ is
four equal long notes. Play the subject and counter-subject through
separately, several times, and get them well "by heart" before going

This fugue is a wonderful example of what a master-composer can make
out of simple materials; the whole piece is built from these three
motives. Our analysis may conveniently be made in tabular form, the
student being expected to trace out the development for himself,
measure by measure.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]



   1- 2   Subject in Alto.
   3- 4   Subject "answered" in Soprano ("imitation"), counter-subject
          in Alto.
   5- 6   Episode 1: Motive _a_ prominent in Soprano.
   7- 8   Subject in Bass, counter-subject in Soprano, fragments of
          motive _c_ in Alto.
   9-10   Episode 2: Motive _a_ tossed between Soprano and Alto,
          motive _b_ in Bass.
  11-12   Subject, in key of E-flat major, in Soprano, counter-subject
          in Bass.
  13-14   Episode 3: Motive _b_ in Soprano, motive _c_ in other
          two voices.
  15-16   Subject in Alto, counter-subject in Soprano, motive _c_
          in Bass.
  17-19   Episode 4: Motives _a_ and _b_ variously distributed between
          all three voices.
  20-21   Subject in Soprano, in tonic key again, counter-subject in
          Alto, motive _c_ in Bass,
  22-25   Episode 5: Motives _a_ and _b_ in all voices.
  26-28   Climax: Subject in Bass, motives _b_ and _c_ in other voices.
  29-31   Coda: Subject in Soprano.

Note that all the episodes take the form of _sequences_, as, for
example, in the following instance (measures 9-10):

                            [Music: score]
                              FIGURE XIa.


The general form of this fugue illustrates the same principles of
modulation, and of restatement of subject after contrast, that we
noticed in the folk-songs and in the invention. This may be tabulated


         A.        |            B.               |      A.
     STATEMENT.    |         CONTRAST.           |  RESTATEMENT.
  Measures 1-10 in |  Measures 11-19 in various  | Measures 20-31
   key of C-minor. | keys, beginning with E-flat.|  in C-minor.

The modulation in this case, however, is not to the "dominant" key,
but to what is called the "relative major" key, as is usual in pieces
written in minor keys, (see the folk-song, "Sister Fair," in Chapter
II), the reason being that the relative major affords the most natural
contrast to a minor key, just as the dominant affords the most natural
contrast to a major key.

The conclusion is emphasized by the finely rugged statement of the
subject in Bass at measure 26.

The treatment of this fugue, for all its consummate skill, is
comparatively simple. It does not employ the more subtle devices often
employed in fugues, of which may be mentioned the following:

1. "Inversion:" The subject turned upside down, while retaining its
identity by means of its rhythm.

                            [Music: score]
                           Original Subject.

                            [Music: score]


                            [Music: score]
                           Original Subject.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]
                           Original Subject.

                            [Music: score]


2. "Augmentation and Diminution:" The length of the notes doubled
or halved, while their _relative_ length, or rhythm, is carefully
maintained. (Figure XIII.)

3. "Shifted rhythm:"[8] The subject shifted as regards its position in
the measure, so that all the accents fall differently.

                            [Music: score]
                           Original Subject.

                            [Music: score]


4. "Stretto:" The imitation of the subject by a second voice occurring
prematurely, before the first voice has completed the subject,
frequently with highly dramatic effect. (_b_) in Figure IX is an
example of stretto.

These devices are mentioned here not only because they occur in many
fugues, but because they are used in the symphonic music of Mozart and
Beethoven, as we shall later have occasion to see.


Perhaps the most exacting of all tests applicable to music is the test
of economy. Are there superfluous tones that do not enrich the harmony?
Are there unnecessary subjects not needed to fill the scheme of design?
If so, no matter how beautiful the music, it is defective as art.
Bach bears this test victoriously. There is not a note of his writing
which one would willingly sacrifice. There is not a melody that is
not needed. Each subject is not merely introduced and dismissed, but
is developed to the utmost, so that all that was implicit in its germ
becomes explicit in its final form. There is no confusion of the
outline, no overcrowding of the canvas, no blotchiness in the color. As
Giotto proved his supremacy among draughtsmen by the apparently simple
but really enormously difficult feat of drawing a complete, perfect
circle with one stroke of the pencil, so Bach constantly proves his
supremacy among musicians by making two voices satisfy the ear like
an orchestra. And this purity of texture is quite compatible with the
utmost richness. Indeed, Bach's polyphonic scores are inimitably rich,
since each voice sings its own melody, and the melodies all interplay
harmoniously like the lines of a well-composed picture. Those who
call Bach's fugues dry make an astonishing confession of their own
insensibility or crudity of taste. Bach's melodies are not, to be sure,
like "Annie Laurie" or "Home, Sweet Home." But neither is daylight like
candle light; yet we do not call it darkness because it is diffused
through all the atmosphere instead of concentrated in a single visible

Bach's daring has been the subject of the endless admiration of
students. Especially in the matter of harmony he did things in the
eighteenth century, and entirely on his own responsibility, that whole
schools of composers band together with a sense of revolutionary
courage to do in the twentieth. He is truly one of the most modern of
composers, and will always remain so. Composers who might have been
his grandsons are now antiquated, while he is always contemporary with
the best musical thought. Brahms, irritated at Rubinstein's persistent
patronizing of "Papa Haydn" in his book, "A Conversation on Music,"
remarked in his dry way: "Rubinstein will soon be Great-grandfather
Rubinstein, but Haydn will then be still Papa Haydn." The same might
be said even more truly of Bach, who will always be the father of

Another way in which Bach is modern is in the variety of his musical
expression. It is not only that his range of different species of
works is so great, reaching from the ecstatically tender and exalted
religious choral compositions, such as cantatas, motets, oratorios, and
passions, through the grand and monumental organ toccatas and fugues,
to the intimate, colloquial suites and sonatas for orchestra and for
clavichord; it is even more wonderful that in a single work, such as
the "Well-Tempered Clavichord," he knows how to sound the whole gamut
of human feeling, from the deep and sombre passions of the soul to the
homely gaiety or bantering humor of an idle moment.[9] Bach might have
boasted, had it been in his nature to boast, that in this work he had
not only written in every key known to musicians, but in every mood
known to men. It is the musical "Comédie Humaine."

Bach lived quietly and in almost complete obscurity; for the last
quarter-century of his life he held a post as teacher of music and
church-music director in Leipsic.

He travelled little, sought no worldly fame, took no pains to secure
performances of his works, and, above all, made no compromise with the
popular taste of his day. He produced his great compositions, one after
another, in the regular day's work, for performance in his church or by
local orchestras and players. He never pined for a recognition that in
the nature of things he could not have; he wrote the music that seemed
good to him, and thought that his responsibility ended there, and that
his reward lay there. The cynic who said "Every man has his price"
was evidently not acquainted with the life of Bach. Steadily ignoring
those temptations to prostitute his genius for the public's pleasure,
which so materially affected the life course of his great contemporary
Handel, he followed his own ideals with an undivided mind. As always
happens in such cases, since it takes decades for the world to
comprehend a sincere individual, or even centuries if his individuality
is deep and unique, he was not appreciated in his life-time, nor for
many years after his death.

Indeed, he is not appreciated now, for a man can be appreciated only
by his equals. But we have at last got an inkling of the treasure that
still lies hidden away in Bach; and while Handel and the other idols of
the age sound daily more thin and archaic, Bach grows ever richer as
the understanding we bring to him increases, and still holds out his
promise of novel and perennial artistic delights.


_W. R. Spalding: "Tonal Counterpoint." Edward Dickinson: "Study of the
History of Music," Chapter XX. C. H. H. Parry: "Evolution of the Art of
Music," Chapter VIII._


[7] Number the measures, and call the voices soprano, alto, and bass.

[8] The reader should examine the example of shifted rhythm given in
the second chapter in dealing with the German song, "Sister Fair."

[9] In Book I, for example, Fugue II is as light and delicate as XII is
serious and earnest; XVI is pathetic, XVII vigorous and rugged, XVIII
thoughtful and mystical, etc.

                              CHAPTER IV.

                    THE DANCE AND ITS DEVELOPMENT.

                    I. MUSICAL CHARACTER OF DANCES.

In the last chapter we studied the most important applications of the
"polyphonic" style, which originated in music for voices, to the music
of instruments. We saw how in such music the attention of the composer
was divided among several equally important voices or parts, and how
much he made of the principle of imitation; and in connection with the
fugue we remarked that the very complex interweaving of the different
voices in such music, one beginning before another leaves off, and all
together making an intricate web, presented certain difficulties to
the listener accustomed to the more modern style, in which a single
voice has the melody, and stops short at regular intervals, giving the
hearer a chance to draw breath, as it were, and renew attention for
what is coming next. Listening to modern music is like reading a series
of short sentences, each clearly and definitely ended by its own full
stop. Listening to the old polyphony is more like reading one of those
long and involved sentences of De Quincey or Walter Pater, in which the
clauses are intricately interwoven and mutually dependent, so that we
can get the sense only by a long-sustained effort of attention.

This more involved style, suitable to voices, but less natural
to instruments, had historically a very long life. Much of the
instrumental music of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth
centuries was in fact nothing but a transference to instruments of
music really conceived for voices. Thus, for example, in the sixteenth
century, when madrigals and canzonas, which were compositions for
voices in the polyphonic style but of a more secular character than
church music, were exceedingly popular, the composers for stringed
instruments and for the then very fashionable lutes, "when they
wanted something of a superior order, ... simply played madrigals,
or wrote music in imitation of any of the varieties of choral music,
not realizing that without the human tones ... which gave expression
to the rising and falling of the melodic material, the effect was
pointless and flat."[10] Even Bach and Handel, in the eighteenth
century, were, by their deeply-rooted habit of _thinking vocally_, in
some degree hampered in the search for a purely instrumental style.
Instrumental music, having to get along without words, must find some
principle of coherence, some kind of definite design, which will make
it intelligible without the help of words, and enable it to stand on
its own feet.

And here comes in the importance of folk-song, and of the folk-dance
which grew up beside it, to our modern instrumental music. For both
song and dance pointed the way to such a principle of independent
intelligibility, through definite balance of phrases (see Chapter I),
and through contrasts and resemblances of _key_ in the various phrases
and sections of a composition. Music intended to accompany songs or
dances _had_ to consist of balanced phrases of equal length--in the
case of songs, because it had to reproduce the verse structure of
the words, which of course were composed in regular stanzas of equal
lines, and in the case of dances, because it had to afford a basis for
symmetrical movements of the body. And when once it was thus divided
up into equal phrases, it took musicians but a short time to find that
these phrases could be effectively contrasted, and made the parts of
larger musical organisms, by being put into different keys (as we have
seen in the instances of modulation cited in Chapters II and III). How
vital these principles of structure in balanced phrases and sections,
and of contrast of keys, are to the entire modern development of music,
we shall realize fully only as we proceed.

Again, both song and dance have proved supremely important to the
development of the homophonic style (one melody, with accompaniment
not itself melodic). In the case of song the reason is obvious. A song
rendered by a solo voice, with instrumental accompaniment, naturally
takes the homophonic style, since it would be highly artificial to
make the subordinate element in the combination as prominent as the
chief one. Dance is less inevitably homophonic than song; indeed many
dances, as we shall see, are to a greater or less degree polyphonic;
but nevertheless the tendency toward homophony is always apparent.
In the first place, the interweaving of many melodies would tend to
obscure the division into definite phrases, since an inner melody might
sometimes fill up the pause in the main one, as we saw it constantly
doing in the fugue. Secondly, the mode of performing dances tends to
give prominence to a single melody. The old dances were generally
played by one melodic instrument, such as a violin or hautboy,
accompanied by chords on an instrument of the lute or guitar family,
and frequently by a drum to strengthen the accents. Such a combination
affords but one prominent "voice," and does not lend itself naturally
to polyphonic writing.

                            [Music: score]
                              FIGURE XV.

  Viens dans ce bo- ca- ge, belle A- min - te,
  Sans contrain - te L'on y for - me des vœux; Viens,
  Viens dans ce bo - ca - ge, belle A- min - te,
  Il est fait pour les plai-sirs et les jeux:

The "Tambourin," for instance, an old French dance of Provence, was
played by one performer, the melody with one hand on the "galoubet," a
kind of pipe or flageolet, and the accompanying rhythm with the other
on a small drum. The quotation in Figure XV, taken from Wekerlin's
collection, "Echos du Temps Passé" (Vol. III), is a good example of
this ancient dance. In this arrangement for piano, the left hand
imitates the drum, and the right hand the "galoubet" or pipe. This
quotation illustrates the common use of dance melodies in songs. Many
primitive airs were so used in the olden times.

                         II. PRIMITIVE DANCES.

The rude dances which spring up spontaneously in all communities,
savage as well as civilized, and of which we in America have examples
in the war-dances of Indians and the cake-walks of negroes, are thus
seen to be pregnant of influence on developed musical art, no less than
the folk-songs which we discussed in the second chapter, and the more
academic music in the polyphonic style which we treated in the third.
Both songs and dances, indeed, sometimes enter into artistic music
even in their crude form, but in most cases composers treat them with
a certain freedom, and in various ways enhance their effectiveness, as
Haydn, for instance, treats the Croatian folk-tune "Jur Postaje," in
the Andante of his "Paukenwirbel" Symphony. In Figure XVI the reader
will see both the crude form of the tune and the shape into which Haydn
moulds it for his purposes.

                            [Music: score]
                            "Jur Postaje."

                            [Music: score]
                           HAYDN'S Version.

                              FIGURE XVI.

In the long process of development which songs and dances thus undergo
at the hands of composers, they of course lose to some extent their
contrasting characters, until in modern music the dance and the song
elements are as inextricably interwoven as the warp and the woof of a
well-made fabric.

As imitation is only slightly available in homophonic music, the unity
so vital to all art is attained in dances chiefly by transpositions of
motives, often in systematic "sequences," by more or less exact balance
of phrases, and by restatement after contrast. In crude examples
these means are crudely used; in the work of masters they are treated
with more subtlety and elasticity; but always a careful analysis will
discover them. It will now prove enlightening to compare, from this
point of view, three dance tunes of very different degrees of merit.

                            [Music: score]
FIGURE XVII. A "Branle" or "Brawl" from Arbeau's Orchesographie, (1545).

Figure XVII shows an ancient "Branle" or "Brawl" of the sixteenth
century, taken from Arbeau's "Orchesographie," published in 1545.

The strong meter, causing a distinct accent on the first note of each
measure, will at once be noted, especially if it be contrasted with the
more moderate accentuation of the folk-songs of Chapter II. Such strong
meter is naturally characteristic of all dance tunes, intended as they
are to guide and stimulate the regular steps of the dancer.

The phrase balance, though marked, is not absolutely regular, but the
two two-measure phrases at the beginning and the single one at the end
suffice to give an impression of pronounced symmetry. The six-measure
phrase after the double-bar is generated by the sequential treatment of
the little motive of measure 5.

This sequence (measures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) is worthy of note because of the
excessive length to which it is carried. Five repetitions are too many,
and grow monotonous. A more skilful composer would have secured his
unity without so great a sacrifice of variety--in a word, he would have
treated a device good in itself with less crudity.

The exact repetition of measures 3-4 at the end is an effective use of
restatement after contrast. Although the whole of the original theme is
not given, there is enough of it to give the sense of orderliness in

A Gavotte in F-major by Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713), the famous
violin virtuoso of the seventeenth century, printed in Augener's
edition of Pieces by Corelli, will illustrate a distinctly higher stage
in the treatment of a dance form. This is well worth a brief analysis.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 3.

                    _Corelli: Gavotte in F-Major._

Here the phrase balance, though entirely satisfying to the sense of
rhythm, is much more elastic than in the brawl. The measure-lengths of
the phrases are not all the same; they are as follows: 1, 1, 2, 1, 1,
1, 2, 2. This gives the tune an agreeable variety.

It will be noted, however, that the sequence is still treated rather
fumblingly. In the three measures after the double-bar, the same motive
is repeated thrice, each time higher than before, and to a fastidious
ear the third repetition grows slightly wearisome.

On the whole, nevertheless, the gain in elasticity and freedom over the
last example is marked.

The general structure and scheme of modulation in this little Gavotte
of Corelli deserves careful attention, because it is in these respects
typical of a very great number, indeed of the majority of the short
dances of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It is divided
into two distinct halves, and while each deals with the same musical
material, the two are strongly contrasted in the matter of key. The
first begins in the home key and leaves it to end in a contrasted
key, in the present case the "dominant." The second, beginning in the
dominant, modulates back again to the home key, and ends there. This
scheme, called by musicians "binary" or "two-part" form, is a very
simple and natural one for short pieces of this kind, and is to be
found in thousands of the movements of Corelli, Scarlatti, Couperin,
Rameau, Purcell, Handel, Bach, and other masters of their day. It is
even more common than the "ternary" form to which we shall come in a

                         III. A BACH GAVOTTE.

If the reader will now compare with these two dances the Gavotte in the
sixth English Suite of J. S. Bach, who had the advantage of living half
a century later than Corelli (besides being an immeasurably greater
genius), he will be amazed to see the power and originality with which
a master can treat a traditional form.[11]

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 4.

       _Bach: Gavotte in D-Minor from the Sixth English Suite._

Before looking at matters of detail, we must notice the structure
of the piece as a whole, since it is not only highly interesting in
itself, but is an example--the first we have had on a large scale--of a
type of construction that is perhaps more popular with musicians of all
schools than any other.

This structural type is nothing but an application to an entire piece
of that three-part form which we have seen in little in the Galician
folk-song of Chapter I and in "Polly Oliver" in Chapter II, and to
which we may now give the name of "ternary form," to distinguish it
from the "binary form" discussed in Chapter III. Bach here writes
two distinct gavottes, repeating the first after the second: so that
Gavotte I is a _statement_, Gavotte II a _contrast_ (emphasized by
change of key from minor to major), and the repeated Gavotte I a
_restatement_. This practice is very frequent in Bach's suites, where
we often find two courantes, two bourrées, two passepieds, two minuets,
etc., combined in this way, the function of the second being to afford
contrast to the first. In some instances the second of the pair is
called "trio," probably because the earliest examples were written in
three-voice harmony, or "musette," from the French word for "bagpipe,"
in reference to the drone bass imitating that instrument. (This is the
case in the present gavotte, where the gavotte II bears the alternative
name of musette.)

In the sonatas and symphonies of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, as we
shall see later, this three-section structure is found in the minuet
with trio, and in the scherzo with trio. Nor is it less common in
modern music, occurring notably in the marches of Schubert, many of the
short pieces of Schumann, in the polonaises and some of the nocturnes
of Chopin, in the rhapsodies and intermezzos of Brahms, and in the
lyric pieces of Grieg. Indeed, its naturalness and clearness inevitably
commend it to all composers.

Looking more closely we see, again, that the same scheme is used by
Bach in each of the two gavottes, _considered separately_. In the
first, we note the structure A = measures 1-10, B = measures 11-27, A =
measures 27-35; in the second we find, A = measures 1-10, B = measures
11-19, A = measures 19-28. The student should verify this analysis for

Proceeding now to details, we notice first that Bach, supreme master of
polyphony that he is, writes even a gavotte in such a way that each of
its voices has its own melodic value. The gavotte itself is in three
voices throughout, and the musette in two, and while these voices are
not so purely melodic as in an invention or a fugue, and there is
little strict imitation, yet the general effect is polyphonic rather
than homophonic. In measures 27-31 the alto voice even has the theme.

The phrase balance is freer than even Corelli's, because Bach's mind
is quicker to seize upon and work out the latent possibilities of his
melodies. All begins regularly enough: the first four phrases are each
two measures in length; but after the double-bar the "plot begins to
thicken." First we find two more phrases just like the preceding ones
(measures 11-13 and 13-15); but in the next phrase, begun in the same
way, in measure 15, the yeast of Bach's fancy begins to work, and the
melody broadens out in a series of evolutions, first in the soprano
and later in the alto, not coming again to a point of rest (end of
a phrase) until measure 23. This extension of a phrase through the
germination or blossoming of the thought (in this case it all comes
from the bit of melody in measure 7) is a matter of supreme importance
in composition, and this instance of it, as well as another in
measures 23-27, should be carefully studied by any one who desires to
understand music. The power thus to develop or draw forth the hidden
potentialities of his motives is one of the most important of all the
gifts which go to make a composer. Still further instances of it should
now be found by the student himself in the musette.

The artistic freedom and felicity of Bach's way of working is further
illustrated by the manner in which, while using the general principle
of the sequence as a means of giving his music unity of idea, he avoids
those overliteral, mechanical transpositions of motive which we found
in the more primitive dances. There is just the contrast here that
there is between a poor speaker, who keeps repeating the same word or
phrase with futile emphasis, and the man of real eloquence, who follows
a train of thought no less closely, but manages constantly to cast
his ideas in new phraseology and fresh figures of speech, so that the
variety of what he says is quite as striking as its fundamental unity.

The element of variety introduced into the contrast-section of the
gavotte (11-27), by the free modulation through several keys, should
also be remarked. The plan of modulation is different from any we have
yet had. Instead of beginning in the relative major (which would be the
key of F), the section begins in the _dominant minor_ (A-minor). A good
many keys are then touched upon before the tonic or home key is reached
at the restatement (27-35), which, by a charming subtlety, begins with
the theme in the alto instead of the soprano voice.

In all these matters we detect the workings of an original and
inventive mind, which, far from being hampered by working in a
traditional form, is stimulated to constantly new solutions of old
problems, and so produces a piece of music at once perfectly clear and
fascinatingly interesting.

In the next chapter we shall see how composers combined groups of such
dances as this, with other pieces of a different character, into those
suites which were the most popular forms of instrumental music in the
eighteenth century.


_Grove's Dictionary: article "Rhythm," and articles under names of
various dances, as "Gavotte," "Allemande," "Courante," "Minuet,"
"Gigue," etc._

_Other examples of dances may be found in a collection of twenty-five
old gavottes, published by Breitkopf and Härtel, and in a volume of
miscellaneous old dances in the Litolff Edition._


[10] Parry: Evolution of the Art of Music, page 115.

[11] For this analysis, number all the measures and parts of measures
consecutively, which will give 35 measure numbers in the Gavotte
proper, and 28 in the second Gavotte or Musette.

                              CHAPTER V.

                              THE SUITE.

                      I. DERIVATION OF THE SUITE.

Once musicians had begun to realize how dances could be developed into
finished pieces, like the gavotte of Bach, which we discussed in the
last chapter, they were quick to avail themselves of this advantage by
combining several such dances into a group, thus making a composition
of some length and dignity and yet of popular, easily comprehensible
style. Such compositions, known in England as "Lessons," in France as
"Ordres," and in Germany as "Suites" and "Partitas," became numerous in
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The first historical step in the development of the suite was taken
when the great violin-makers of Cremona and Brescia, in Italy,
brought the violin to a wonderful mechanical perfection early in the
seventeenth century. Virtuosos on this brilliant instrument were not
slow to appear, and they dazzled their audiences with pieces known as
sonatas, though having little in common with what we nowadays call a
sonata. Their _sonata da chiesa_, or church sonata, was a group of
pieces, all polyphonic in character and derived from the old choral
madrigals and canzonas; the _sonata da ballo_, or dance sonata, was
a group of dance tunes; the _sonata da camera_, or chamber sonata,
combined both types. Gradually the first become obsolete, and the
second and third took respectively the names _suite_ and _partita_,
although the nomenclature was inexact, as suites often contained
movements of strict and severe polyphonic style as well as dances. The
greatest of the violin virtuosos was Arcangelo Corelli, whose "sonatas"
retain their charm even for our modern ears, as may be seen from the
sample of his work studied in the last chapter.

About the end of the seventeenth century the keyed instruments,
such as the harpsichord, the clavichord, the spinet, and other
precursors of our modern pianoforte, first reached the degree of
mechanical perfection which enabled them to rival the violin; and it
was accordingly not until then that important pieces for such keyed
instruments began to be written. At the end of the seventeenth and the
beginning of the eighteenth centuries, however, we find interesting
music for these instruments by composers of several nations. In France
Couperin (1668-1733) wrote what he called "Ordres," short series of
pieces "in dance style, piquant in rhythm, melodiously graceful,
profusely embroidered with embellishment;"[12] and he was followed by
Rameau (1683-1764) with similar works. A curious whim of these French
masters was the appending of picturesque titles to their pieces, such
as "The Tambourine," "The Hen," "The Return of the Birds," etc.--a
practice which anticipates the program music of to-day.

Italy had one extraordinary genius in this department of music,
Domenico Scarlatti (1683-1757). He was a most brilliant performer
on the harpsichord, delighted in all feats of agility, and loved to
surprise and astonish his audience. In short he was a virtuoso, and his
performances must have created the kind of sensation in the seventeenth
century that Liszt's did in the nineteenth. "For vivacity, wit,
irony, mischief, mockery, and all the category of human traits which
Beethoven's scherzo served so brilliantly to express," says Parry, "the
world had to wait for a full century to see Scarlatti's equal again."
Some of the preludes, sarabandes, minuets, courantes, etc., composed by
him, still retain their interest. His beautiful Pastorale in E-minor,
and his "Cat fugue," written on a theme played by a pet cat running
across the keyboard, are sometimes heard in recitals.

It was in the hands of the German masters, Bach and Handel,[13]
however, that the suite reached its highest state. These two great
composers, born in the same year, 1685, possessed not only the sense
of technical effect which made Scarlatti great, and the high spirits,
enthusiasm, and sense of proportion which are needed for the production
of idealized dance movements such as Couperin and Rameau have given us,
but they had great musical learning, and much experience in the use
of the strict choral style of polyphonic writing, which they showed
by introducing into their suites certain movements much more serious
in style and exalted in sentiment than dances. The English and French
Suites, so called, of Bach, and the Twelve Harpsichord Suites, or
"Lessons," as they were called in England, of Handel, deserve to rank
among the great masterpieces of musical art.

                        II. THE SUITES OF BACH.

The six English and six French Suites of Bach, which deserve a more
detailed study than any others, consist generally of from five to
eight separate pieces or movements. The first, derived from the
severer type of the _sonata da chiesa_, and thus, more remotely,
from the choral madrigal and canzona (see above), is always more
intricate and elaborate than the others. In the English Suite it is a
long contrapuntal prelude, with imitations and sequences such as we
studied in the invention and the fugue. In the French Suites it is an
allemande, less elaborate but still dignified and impressive. We see
this to be appropriate when we remember that the hearer is best able to
follow intricacies when his mind is fresh and unjaded.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 5.

         _Bach: Prelude to English Suite, No. 3, in G-Minor._

_The Motives_: The thematic material out of which this prelude is
developed is very simple, consisting of just two motives, which we will
call (_a_) and (_b_).

                            [Music: score]
             Motive (_a_) (imitated through four voices.)

                            [Music: score]
      Motive (_b_) (imitated by a second voice) measures 33-36.


Note the effective contrast between the bold, assertive character of
motive (_a_) and the more graceful character of (_b_).

_Structure_: The prelude divides itself into seven clearly marked
sections, each ended by a well-marked cadence. Let us examine these
briefly in turn.

 Section I, measures 1-32, key of G-minor: Founded on motive (_a_),
 with many sequences which the reader should now be able to trace for

 Section II, measures 33-66: Begins in G-minor, modulates to B-flat
 major, the "relative major." Motive (_b_) in soprano, measures 33-34;
 in alto, measures 35-36; in bass, measures 43-44. Motive (_a_),
 measures 35, 36, 37 (alto), 38, 39, 43, 44, 53, 54, etc.

 Section III, measures 67-98, key of B-flat: An almost exact copy of
 Section I, in a different key.

 Section IV, measures 99-124: Begins in B-flat major, modulates to
 D-minor, the "dominant" of the original key. Both motives tossed about
 from voice to voice. (The reader should locate each instance for

 Section V, measures 125-160: Begins in D-minor, modulates to
 E-flat major, thus giving variety of key in the middle part of the
 composition, which we begin to see is an important principle of form.
 (Compare the Gavotte of the last chapter.) Very similar in treatment
 to Section II.

 Section VI, measures 161-179: Modulates back from E-flat major
 to the home key, thus preparing the way for the final statements
 and conclusion. In measures 175-178 the insistence of the bass on
 the tone D, the "dominant" of the original key, will be noticed.
 Such an insistence on one tone is called a "pedal point," because
 so frequently found in the pedal part of organ music, and serves
 admirably here to prepare the mind for the triumphant return to
 G-minor in the final section. The rest of Section VI is made up of
 sequences, thus: 162-165, 166-169, 170-173; and then, 173, 174, 175,
 176, 177, 178.

 Section VII, measures 180-213: Almost entirely in the home-key,
 thus emphasizing the sense of finality. The bulk of this section is
 furthermore identical with Section I, thus affording a fine example of
 the principle of _restatement after contrast_.

Altogether this is a most interesting movement. In the great effect
made with simple means we recognize again, as we did in the case
of the invention and the fugue, the splendid power of Bach's mind.
The principles of imitation of motives from voice to voice, of
transpositions of a single motive in a single voice giving rise to the
many sequences, and of restatement after contrast, all discussed in
the first chapter, are illustrated more brilliantly than by any other
composition we have thus far examined. Finally, in the variety of key
of Section V, placed in the middle of the piece, and in the unity of
key of the first and last sections, we get a striking anticipation of a
principle of construction which we shall later see to be at the root of
the most important of modern forms, the sonata-form.

After listening to such a movement as this we naturally wish to relax
a little; and we are, therefore, pleased to hear a series of dances of
various rhythms and qualities of expression, cast in simple "binary"
or "ternary" forms, and either frankly homophonic in style or not too
elaborately polyphonic. It is impossible to describe in detail here all
the dances found in suites, but the table on page 68 will give an idea
of the more important ones.

The gavotte studied in the preceding chapter gives an excellent general
impression of the livelier dances used, which may be farther defined
by a glance at such typical pieces as the bourrées of the first and
second English Suites, and the gavottes of the third English and fifth
French Suites. There is generally also to be found in Bach's suites,
introduced for the sake of contrast and in order to represent the more
emotional side of musical expression, a sarabande or other such slow,
stately, and sometimes truly noble movement. Let us take, as an example
of this element, the Sarabande from the second English Suite.


  NAME   | ORIGIN   |  METER   |      FORM       |      CHARACTER
Allemande|German    |4-4       |Usually "binary" |Brisk, fluent.
Courante |French    |3-2 or 3-4|   "    "binary" |Merry, energetic.
Sarabande|Spanish   |3-2, 3-4  |   "    "binary" |Stately, serious,
         |          |          |                 |  sometimes noble.
Bourrée  |French    |4-4, 2-4  |   "    "ternary"|Lively.
Gavotte  |French    |4-4       |   "    "ternary"|Moderately quick,
         |          |          |                 |  well-marked.
Minuet   |French    |3-8, 3-4  |   "    "ternary"|Well-regulated gaiety,
         |          |          |                 |  courtly.
Passepied|French    |3-4       |                 |Animated, brisk.
Loure    |Old French|6-4       |                 |Slow, stately.
Anglaise |French    |2-4       |                 |Lively, energetic.
Polonaise|Polish    |3-4       |                 |Dignified, but animated.
Pavane   |French    |2-4       |                 |Stately.
Rigaudon |French    |2-4, 4-4  |                 |Very lively, gay.
Gigue    |Doubtful  |6-8, 12-8 |   "    "binary" |Very rollicking and merry.

 EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 6. _Bach: Sarabande in A-Minor from English
                               Suite_ II

The melodic germ from which the piece is developed is the following
very serious and earnest phrase:

                            [Music: score]

a phrase in which great depth of almost tragic feeling is expressed.
Against this is set, for the sake of relief, the lighter and more
suave melody of measures 5 and 6, treated in freely sequential fashion.
The whole sarabande is built from these two brief melodic figures.

This sarabande serves as an admirable illustration of the type of
beauty common in the music of Bach. Its phraseology, if we may use the
term, is quite different from that in use in the music of to-day; it is
full of quaint and archaic turns of musical speech--formal sequences,
little motives that sound to us almost mechanical. It is like an
etching of Dürer's, full of detail, each line carefully drawn, and the
whole picture instinct with life. Thus its type of beauty differs so
materially from that to which we are accustomed that it often fails
in its appeal. Only by using our imagination are we able to project
ourselves, so to speak, into another _milieu_, another time, another
point of view. And this is the test with which any archaic work of
art confronts us. Without imagination in the beholder a picture by
Botticelli, for example, is a curiosity rather than a work of art. Its
strange allegory, its quaint idea of landscape, its figures with their
unusual posing--all these are beautiful or merely curious according as
we look at them. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

The repetition at a higher pitch of the main motive in measures 3-4 is
highly poignant; and throughout the expression is intensified by the
use of rich and often complex harmony, as particularly in the last four
measures of all.

Notwithstanding the earnest and impassioned character of this
sarabande, its derivation from the dance is clearly revealed in the
regularity of the balance of phrases consisting of equal measure
groups, which divide up as follows: 2, 2, 4, 4 (double-bar); 2, 2, 4,
2, 2, 4. The symmetry is much more precise than in an invention or a

The form is binary or two-part. Part one, measures 1-12, begins in
A-minor and ends in the "relative major," the key of C. Part two,
measures 13-28, begins (with the original motive) in C-major, and
returns to A-minor.

The sequence of measures 23-24, with measures 21-22, is very beautiful
and deserves special notice.

Following the sarabande the reader will observe a more florid
version of it, bearing the caption, "Les agréments de la même
Sarabande"--"Ornaments for the same Sarabande." This is an example
of the practice, common in Bach's day, of weaving a net-work of
grace-notes, trills, and other decorations about a melody, a practice
due in part to the natural fondness of all musicians for "effect," and
in part to the fact that the instruments of that day were so small and
poor that a tone could only be sustained by being struck many times.
This custom of ornamenting melodies with all manner of embroidery gave
rise to the "theme and variations," a form which we shall study later.

All the other English Suites of Bach contain very beautiful sarabandes;
those in the French Suites are less interesting, though the first
contains a fine example.

All of Bach's twelve suites end with gay and vigorous gigues, the most
rollicking of all the dances used. This is natural enough, in view of
the desirability of closing the suite with an impression of energetic
vitality. These gigues are in the headlong 6-8 or 12-8 meter; they are
polyphonic in texture, and constructed in the binary form. Often-times
a high degree of contrapuntal skill is shown in their composition, but
usually this does not interfere with their light and almost careless
character. A curious feature of most of them is that in the second half
the motive is inverted or turned upside down.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 7.

           _Bach: Gigue, from French Suite_ IV _in E-Flat_.

                            [Music: score]
            Theme of Gigue, Bach's French Suite IV, and its

                            [Music: score]
             Inversion of theme, beginning of second half.

                              FIGURE XXI.

The gay little theme is composed of two motives, as indicated in Figure
XXI, in which the long brackets show the theme and its imitation by
the second voice to enter, and the short brackets show its component
motives, of contrasting character. In measures 5 and 6 the theme is
again imitated by the third voice (left hand part). In the course of
the development a still more lively figure makes its appearance in
measures 19, 23, 24 and 25.

The now familiar sequences are found at every turn. The form is binary
(Part I, measures 1-26; Part II, measures 27-60). The inversion of
the theme, shown in Figure XXI, makes the subject of the second half.
The key-system is perfectly simple. Part I modulates from the tonic,
E-flat, to the dominant, B-flat; Part II begins there and returns to
the home-key.


In the course of the eighteenth century the suite gradually waned
in popularity, and gave place to the more highly organic sonata.
Modern suites, notable among which are such delightful works as
Bizet's "L'Arlesienne," Grieg's "Peer Gynt," Dvorák's Suite for small
orchestra, opus. 39, Tschaikowsky's "Nut-Cracker Suite," and Brahms's
"Serenades" for orchestra, are, after all, exceptional and infrequent,
and not the inevitable mould in which the composer casts his ideas.

But the historical importance of the suite was great, and it fell into
disuse only after its lessons had been thoroughly learned. Through it
musicians developed the dance element which must always be one of the
two main strands of all music; through it they learned to substitute
for the ancient polyphonic style which is suitable to voices the
homophonic style best adapted to the capacities and the limitations
of instruments; and through it they became familiar with those simple
binary and ternary forms in which such instrumental music is most
conveniently and effectively cast.

Thus the suite formed the bridge between, on the one hand, (_a_) crude
folk-songs, (_b_) primitive dances, and (_c_) strict polyphonic forms
such as the invention and the fugue, and on the other, the sonatas,
quartets, concertos, and symphonies of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.


_Dickinson: "The Study of the History of Music," Chapters XIII and XIV.
Parry: "Evolution of the Art of Music," Chapters VIII and IX; Mason:
"Beethoven and His Forerunners," Chapter IV._


[12] Edward Dickinson, "The Study of the History of Music," page 84.

[13] Handel, though he lived in England, was in his music a German.

                              CHAPTER VI.

                              THE RONDO.

The study of the suite contained in the last chapter has brought us
for the first time into contact with a cyclic form. We have seen that,
as instruments developed, as the technique of playing them advanced,
and as the themes and their harmonies became more plastic, composers
naturally sought some larger plan than that afforded by a single dance
form; they thus arrived at the suite. But the suite was inclined to be
monotonous. The same key was used for all the separate movements, there
was an almost invariable stated length for each, and the rhythms were
too insistent to admit of great variety of expression. So composers
began to experiment with other forms, chief among which was the

Through all the rest of this book we shall be dealing directly or
indirectly with the musical forms that go to make up the complete
sonata. In the present chapter we shall deal with one of its simplest
and most primitive types of structure, the rondo.

Sonatas were written as far back as the seventeenth century. Kuhnau's
celebrated "Bible Sonatas," crude attempts at program music, are
among the notable examples of primitive sonatas. These were indeed
"sound-pieces," but their resemblance to a real sonata, as we
understand the term, is slight. Bach and Handel each wrote sonatas; and
some of Bach's are masterly examples of the then prevailing style. His
sonata for violin and piano in F-minor (number V in Peters' edition)
may be studied as an example of the form. It contains four movements,
the first, second, and fourth of which are purely polyphonic, the
third being one of those beautiful meditative pieces of a somewhat
rhapsodical style in which Bach seems to have specially delighted.
Italian contemporaries of Bach also wrote sonatas, and some of those
by D. Scarlatti (1683-1757) and A. Corelli (1653-1713) were of
considerable importance in the development of the form. All these early
specimens, however, were either vague and indeterminate in form, or
were hampered in their expression by the old polyphonic methods. The
modern sonata first begins to emerge in the work of Philip Emanuel
Bach, son of John Sebastian, and his compositions in this style will be
the subject of a later chapter.

                      I. DERIVATION OF THE RONDO.

Our investigations into the formal element of early dance music have
thus far revealed two plans, "binary" and "ternary," _i. e._, two-part
and three-part. For such short pieces as the inventions of Bach, and
for many of the separate dances in suites, the two-part form was
adequate, but when instrumental music began to develop on broader
lines, so that each of the halves was extended to a considerable
length, the advantage of the three-part form with its "restatement
after contrast" was readily perceived, and it came to be frequently

Among the early experiments in form we find a kind of extension of
ternary form by the repetition of its separate parts. Such pieces
sometimes consist of but one stable phrase (A) with alternating phrases
of an indefinite character, while others alternate two set phrases,
as: A, B, A, B, A, B, A, etc. The one fixed principle in these pieces
seems to be that they should end with the phrase with which they began.
In primitive songs this fixed part constituted the chorus, with which
the solo melody alternated, having, of course, different words for each

                            [Music: score]


  Come with us, sweet flowers, and worship Christ the Lord,
  Let your perfumes hover round the Babe adored.

  _1st & 2nd Sopranos._

  1. Modest violet, hiding in the grassy shade,
     Thou canst say how humble He for us is made.


  Come with us, &c. (D.C.)

  2. Lily fair, low bending in the sun's warm light,
     Thou dost tell that He is pure as thou art white.
     Come with us, &c.

  3. As thou, Pansy, shinest forth in bright array,
     So doth He His majesty to man display.
     Come with us, &c.

  4. As thou, Rose, wide-opening dost thy scent impart,
     So His love expanding, draws each sinful heart.
     Come with us, &c.

"The question is sometimes raised whether in the primitive carol the
chorus began, or whether, as in many of our own popular songs, it
waited until the end of the first solo verse. Probably the former is of
the greater antiquity; in any case, it is from it that the rondo[15] is
derived."--Hadow, "Sonata Form."

An example of this primitive type of carol will be found in Figure XXII.

This is an ancient carol from the old province of Bas-Quercy (now
Lot-et-Garonne) in the southwestern part of France.

The obvious weakness of this form, when applied to instrumental music,
is its monotony. One would soon weary of a bald repetition over and
over again of two phrases or two melodies to which no variety was
imparted, such as the change of words supplies in the foregoing carol.
In order to avoid this disadvantage the natural step to take would be
to impart, by some means or other, variety to the music; and this was
soon perceived by composers. The idea of a fixed part remained, _i. e._,
the chief musical idea was retained in its original form, but the
secondary melodies were varied. Once this change had taken place the
rondo became a frequent medium of musical expression. Specimens of the
early rondo may be found in Purcell's song, "I Attempt from Love's
Sickness to Fly," and in Bach's, "Passepied en Rondeau," from the fifth
English Suite. The formula for these two pieces is A, B, A, C, A.

Another interesting point is the plan of the harmony of the contrasting
sections in the rondo. The first of these (B) would naturally follow
the prevailing custom for "sections of contrast," and be in the
dominant, or, if the piece were in minor, in the relative major (see
Chapter II.); but the second (C) offered a further means of variety,
and the instinct of composers led them to treat it in a free manner
and not confine it to any one key. Each of the examples of rondo form
referred to above adopts this method of procedure.

While this early form of the rondo possessed a certain charm, it was
somewhat rigid in effect, since the various sections were separated
from each other by a full close or complete pause. They were like
little blocks that fitted together into a definite, if somewhat stiff

                       II. A RONDO BY COUPERIN.

The primitive rondo was chiefly cultivated by the French harpsichord
composers of the early eighteenth century, of whom Couperin (1668-1733)
and Rameau (1683-1764) were the most distinguished. Reference has been
made in our chapter on "The Suite" to the "Ordres" of these composers,
and to the perfecting, at the end of the seventeenth century, of
the instrument for which they were written, the harpsichord. The
strings of the harpsichord were not struck by hammers, as in the
modern pianoforte, but plucked by quills, as the strings of a banjo
are plucked by the fingers of the player. It has been said of the
harpsichord that it produced "a scratch with a tone at the end of it."
The tone produced in this primitive way was weak and of brief duration,
so that composers not only had to keep re-enforcing a tone by striking
it again, as in the trills and other ornaments so characteristic of
their music, but had to avoid altogether any long sustained passages
such as are common in modern music. They had also to substitute for the
polyphonic style, the entire effectiveness of which depends upon the
sustainment of its melodies, a homophonic or one-voiced style which,
while distinct from that usual in modern piano music, was historically
an important factor in its development.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 8.

          _Couperin: "Les Moissonneurs" ("The Harvesters")._

This naïve and delightful piece is a good example of the prevailing
style of French domestic music in the eighteenth century. It is notable
for its character of elegance; it is _salon_ music, but at the same
time it reveals a certain mimetic quality common among the French.
The swing of its rhythm seems to catch a little of the idea conveyed
by the title. Couperin's pieces have been called "a sort of refined
ballet music," and they are, as a whole, based on well defined rhythmic
movement. But we may trace in them the gradual progress away from dance
forms and towards a freer and more idealized expression.

Couperin was called by his contemporaries "Le Grand," and was an
important figure in the musical life of Paris during the reign of Louis
XIV. His influence extended beyond France; even John Sebastian Bach
adopts some of his methods in writing his French suites.

"Les Moissonneurs" may be formally tabulated as follows:


| Section |   Measures  |                Notes                |
|    A    |  [16]1-9    |  Entirely in tonic key with pause   |
|         |             | at end. (The key is B-flat major.)  |
|    B    |    10-14    |     Modulating to the dominant      |
|         |             |         and ending thereon.         |
|    A    |    15-23    | An exact repetition of the first A. |
|    C    |    24-32    |   Entirely in relative minor key    |
|         |             |         with pause at end.          |
|    A    |    33-41    | An exact repetition of the first A. |
|    D    |    42-56    | Beginning in tonic; modulating to   |
|         |             |       C minor and back again.       |
|    A    |    57-65    | An exact repetition of the first A. |

An examination of this rondo will reveal that the subsidiary
portions--B. C. and D.--are episodes rather than distinct themes.
Their melodies, instead of being entirely new as in the more highly
developed rondos of Haydn and Mozart, are either literal copies of the
chief melody, or close imitations of it, in _related keys_; so that
the chief variety imparted by them is a variety of _harmony_. The plan
of these harmonies should be carefully noted, particularly the use
of the home key in the section marked D. This method of unifying a
melody or a whole piece, by coming back to the original key at the end,
embodying as it does an important æsthetic principle, has been pointed
out several times already. We may say, then, that the structure of this
piece is "harmonic" rather than "thematic." In all instrumental music
of any consequence this harmonic element is of great importance.

The use of the word "Couplet" to describe the episodes seems to
indicate the derivation of these rondos from the old song and chorus
like the "Carol of the Flowers." In fact, one gets from this piece a
decided impression as of a fixed[17] part in somewhat rigid form, and
with comparatively full "harmonies," alternating with verses (couplets)
in which the right hand plays, as it were, a solo melody against an
unobtrusive accompaniment.

                     III. FROM COUPERIN TO MOZART.

This form of the rondo[18] persisted until the time of Haydn and
Mozart, and our next example for analysis is from that period. During
the century that elapsed between Couperin and Mozart the piano was so
perfected as to displace the harpsichord. The invention of the damper
pedal entirely changed the style of writing for the piano, and the
necessity for filling out the melody with elaborate ornamentation
no longer existed. The greater power and better action of the new
instruments also afforded composers a much wider scope.

But more important still, during this century Philip Emanuel Bach
(1714-1788) had written some pianoforte works that advanced the art
into a new realm. In the eighth chapter we shall study one of his
pianoforte sonatas, but it may be said here that both Haydn and Mozart
freely acknowledged their great debt to him. This study is postponed
for the moment because he did not affect the form of the rondo.

Franz Josef Haydn (1732-1809), who spent many years as Kapellmeister to
Prince Esterhazy and who, in consequence, lived more or less isolated
from the world, made many interesting experiments with musical forms.
He may be said to be the father of the symphony and the string quartet,
and several of his piano sonatas contain movements that are obviously
attempts at creating new forms or combining old ones in new ways.

His ninth[19] piano sonata, for example, has for its finale a curious
and interesting combination of the rondo and the variation form, while
the finale to the third sonata is marked "Tempo di Minuetto." Such
experiments are always to be found when we examine the work of creative

                            [Music: score]
                             FIGURE XXIV.

Haydn's sonatas thus provide us with a link in the chain that binds
Mozart to his predecessors. The foregoing quotation from Haydn's
second sonata will illustrate the primitive nature of some of his rondo
themes (Figure XXIV). This theme is, in effect, a jolly dance tune
without pretensions to dignity, and against it is placed a conventional
pattern accompaniment.

Another rondo theme from Haydn may be cited to illustrate his gentle

                            [Music: score]
                              FIGURE XXV.

This has for its first episode, or secondary theme, the following
vividly contrasting passage:

                            [Music: score]
                             FIGURE XXVI.

These two quotations illustrate the childlike naïveté of Haydn's
nature. He is never tragic; his pieces are like delightful pictures of
rural life painted by an artist who was himself country born and bred
and who feels the natural charm of the simplest, commonest things.
Haydn's pictures are flooded with sunlight.

                        IV. A RONDO BY MOZART.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), aside from his supreme greatness
as a composer, represents the culmination of what is called the
"Classical" period. The tendency away from strict polyphony and towards
a free homophonic style has already been noted. It was the peasant-born
Haydn who first subordinated polyphony, producing long instrumental
pieces based on song melodies. His symphonies and string quartets are
bubbling over with melodiousness. Often frankly adopting folk tunes, or
inventing themes in the same style, he produced great works that depend
hardly at all on the interweaving of themes, but have as their basis
rather the exposition of single melodies as the _raison d'être_ of the
music. Not by any means lacking in erudition, Haydn turns to naïve
melody as his natural means of expression.

Along with this element, and as a component part of what we call
"classic," is that perfection of form and style that particularly
distinguishes the music of Mozart.

"His works are often cited as the most perfect illustrations of the
classic idea in music,--this term referring in a general way to the
absence of individualism in conformity to a general type of style and
form, naïveté as opposed to self-consciousness, symmetry of outline,
highest finish of detail, purity of sound, loftiness and serenity of
mood."--Dickinson, "The Study of the History of Music."

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 9.

          _Mozart: Rondo from Piano Sonata in B-flat major._

This rondo is the last of the three movements of this characteristic
sonata. Mozart's piano sonatas seldom have more than three movements,
and of these the rondo is last, the plan being to present the more
highly organized movements first, and to end, as in the suite, with
a bright and cheerful piece. The rondos of this period were lively
and rhythmically energetic. While not essentially dance-like, they
nevertheless were ultimately derived from the dance, and lacked the
meditative and sentimental qualities to be found in slow movements.
It is from one of these two sources--the dance tune and the
folk-song--that all these sonata movements sprang. Contributory streams
entered here and there--the polyphonic influence is discernible;
Italian opera lends its fluent vocal style and occasionally its love
of display in elaborate cadenzas; and, of course, the idiom of the
piano--the peculiar manner of writing that the instrument requires--is
always present.

The first theme of this movement, for example, suggests motion; one
can almost imagine the opening section (measures 1-16) as suited to
the first evolution in a dance, and the second (beginning at measure
16) as the strain intended for a new set of dancers, while the chords
in measure 17 quite vividly suggest the steps of a dance. The left
hand part is largely in the familiar idiom of the piano of Mozart's
time, though there is occasionally polyphonic treatment--as in
measures 1-8. The various divisions of the piece are strongly marked
by cadences, sometimes preceded by formal patterns of scales, or other
meaningless passages, as at 144-147, such as Wagner likened to "the
clatter of dishes at a royal banquet." Sequences, so familiar in the
music of Bach, frequently appear here, and were, indeed, a part of the
phraseology of the time. The passage between measures 189 and 193 is,
in this respect, especially notable because of the harsh dissonance
between E-flat and D at measure 191.

The cadenza is an interesting and unusual factor in this rondo. A
cadenza always occurred in certain types of operatic arias, and in the
concerto was introduced to display the skill of the performer, but it
is unusual to find one in a rondo.

                             FIGURE XXVII.


| Section | Measures |                   Notes                            |
|    A    |   1-24   | Chief theme in two sections (1-8 and 9-24),        |
|         |          |   the last slightly extended.                      |
|    B    |  24-40   | First contrasting theme in dominant. Measures      |
|         |          |   36-40 constitute a codetta to this section.      |
|    A    |  41-64   | Chief theme as before, but modulating (62)         |
|         |          |   to the relative minor.                           |
|    C    |  64-111  | Second contrasting theme in two parts: 1st in      |
|         |          |   G-minor (64-75), 2nd in E-flat major (76-90).    |
|         |          |   This section is concluded by a passage in        |
|         |          |   C-minor based on motive from chief theme, and    |
|         |          |   by a codetta (105-111) similar to that in B.     |
|    A    | 112-148  | Chief theme as before, but extended.               |
|    B    | 148-172  | First contrasting theme now in tonic,              |
|         |          |   and with an extended codetta.                    |
|    A    | 173-224  | Free treatment of chief theme, and other material: |
|         |          |   motive from codetta extensively used (179-196);  |
|         |          |   cadenza (198); epilogue, or coda (213).          |

This rondo flows on happily from beginning to end without touching
either great heights or depths. It is a good example of a style of
piano music intended more for the domestic circle than for the
concert room. It shows that "absence of individualism in conformity to
a general type of style and form" referred to by Dickinson, _i. e._,
one does not feel in listening to it the obtrusion of a personal point
of view; there are no idiosyncrasies such as are continually appearing
in more modern music. There is here also that "purity of sound" that
characterizes Mozart's music. There are no elisions, no subtleties
of musical language, no suggested meanings such as one finds, for
example, in Schumann. There is the same placidity, the same clearness
of meaning, the same lucidity of diction that we find in the poetry of
Mozart's day. Musical language was not then overlaid with secondary
significance as it has since become.

An examination of Figure XXVII will reveal a considerable advance in
this rondo over that of Couperin. The last section (A) in particular
fulfills its office of providing, as it were, a kind of _denouement_ to
the whole piece; the interest is skillfully made to center or come to
a climax here, and the stiff angularity that characterizes the older
rondo is conspicuously absent. And while the scheme of harmonies in
this rondo has many elements in common with that of "Les Moissonneurs,"
there are here excursions, by the way, into other keys giving variety
and warmth of color. But, most important of all, the recurrence of the
first contrasting theme (at measure 148) in the tonic key after having
first appeared in the dominant (measure 24) gives to this piece a real
strength, or stoutness of construction. It is as though there were
certain strands in the fabric that run entirely through it and make it
firm, whereas the Couperin rondo seems to be made by putting together a
series of little blocks.

Another important point of contrast between these two rondos is in
the matter of themes. Where Couperin has only one, which he presents
in a variety of charming forms, but from which little that is new is
evolved, Mozart has three distinct contrasting themes, and a little
codetta motive; and all these germinate, even if but slightly, into new
musical developments. The codetta passage, in particular, sprouts and
blossoms (179-196) in a most delightful manner, the little germ having
first appeared (36) as an unpromising and monotonous succession of
single notes.

We referred at some length, in the chapter on "The Dance and Its
Development," to this germination of musical thought as of the greatest
importance in composition. The reader will readily understand that the
highest form of an art like music, in which the element of time enters
as a vital matter--in which the message of the composer comes to us in
successive sounds--must depend on something more than the beauty of
its several and successive melodies. In the first place, the limit of
such a succession would soon be reached; the mind, after having taken
in a certain number of melodies, would lose track of the first ones and
be left in utter confusion. The obvious device of repeating the first
phrase or melody at the point where, otherwise, this confusion would
result, has been the determining motive of many of the simple forms we
have thus far studied. But this, after all, is a primitive method, and
it is obvious that its possibilities are limited. The rondo is, in
effect, the furthest point to which this plan can go.

The fundamental quality in anything living--be it the state, the
church, the family or the human body--is organism, the relation of all
the parts to the whole. So in the greatest music as in the greatest
literature, everything germinates from certain fundamental ideas,
and nothing is extraneous. This rondo of Mozart represents a certain
tendency of his to string beautiful melodies together--for his fund of
melodies was well nigh inexhaustible. But he was too great a master not
to see the weakness of such a procedure, and in works like his G-minor
symphony he has left nearly perfect examples of this higher form of
musical development;--perfect, that is, within his own horizon--a wider
view was to unfold itself from that height to which Beethoven finally


_Parry: "The Evolution of the Art of Music," pp. 52 and 241. Dickinson:
"The Study of the History of Music," Chapter XIV. Goetschius: "The
Homophonic Forms of Musical Composition," p. 203. Mason: "Beethoven and
His Forerunners," Chapter IV. Hadow: "Sonata Form," Chapter IX._


_Haydn: Finale of Sonata in D-major, No. 7 (Schirmer Ed.)._ _Finale of
Sonata in D-major, No. 9 (Schirmer Ed.)._ _Mozart: Finale of Sonata in
F-major, No. 17 (Schirmer Ed.)._


[14] Sonata, originally from Italian "Suonare," to sound, as Cantata
was from Italian "Cantare," to sing. Later the word Sonata took on a
more precise meaning, which we shall study in later chapters.

[15] The name "Rondo" (Fr. "Rondeau") is derived from "round," and its
application to pieces of the type we are considering was due to the
constant recurrence of one principal melody.

[16] The first partial measure and all the other half measures where
the double bars occur are counted separately, making 65 measures in the
whole piece.

[17] The fixed part (A) in the Rondo of this period usually entered
but three times instead of four as is the case here. Couperin's "La
Bandoline" (in "Les Maitres du Clavecin") is another example of the
extended form of the Rondo.

[18] Pauer's "Alte Meister" (Breitkopf and Härtel) contains several
interesting Rondeaus by Couperin and Rameau. "Les Maitres du Clavecin,"
edited by Kohler (Litolff), Vols. X and XI, may also be consulted.

[19] The numbers referred to here are those of the Schirmer edition.

                             CHAPTER VII.

                    THE VARIATION FORM--THE MINUET.

The process of musical development we have been considering in previous
chapters has tended gradually but surely towards freedom of expression
and, at the same time, definiteness of form. As this process has
advanced, melodies have become less and less constrained, yet the forms
themselves have crystallized into certain accepted types. The ideal
of all this progress was unity and variety; in other words, composers
felt the desire to expand their powers of expression and saw that this
expansion must in the nature of things conform to certain æsthetic
principles and obey certain laws. Mere luxuriance of speech without
order or system means confusion; but order and system without living
feeling means aridity. These two elements must go hand in hand, and in
the music of masters like Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms they do.

The so-called variation form admirably illustrates these tendencies.
From its very beginning down to the present day there has been a
constant re-adjustment of its expressiveness and its formal interest; a
constant attempt to strike the right balance between the two qualities.
The form is almost as old as music itself. From the earliest times
composers have felt the necessity of varying their tunes by one device
or another. Even before the other primitive forms had crystallized,
crude variations existed, and we find old hymn tunes or popular songs
repeated over and over again with elaborate changes of phraseology or
with contrapuntal devices. Certain arid processes--such as writing
a tune backwards--were sometimes employed, and a study of the whole
range of the variation form in its early stages reveals a constant

                      I. VARIATIONS BY JOHN BULL.

Among the most interesting of these early attempts to solve the problem
are certain pieces by the English composers for the harpsichord
who lived in the latter part of the sixteenth century. John Bull
(1563-1628), a chorister in the Chapel Royal of Queen Elizabeth, was
one of the most famous of these, and he has left us several pieces
in variation form, one of which, "Courante Jewel," is well worth our

The courante (Fr. _courir_, to run) is one of the old dance forms
that became imbedded in the suite, where it followed the opening[20]
Allemande. This particular example of the courante illustrates the
habit, common at that time, of writing pieces based on well known
dance rhythms such as we have studied in Chapters IV and V. Composers
attempted to provide further interest in their pieces by giving them
special titles. We find, for example, one of Byrd's harpsichord pieces
called "Galiardo, Mrs. Mary Brownlo," and one of Bull's entitled
"Pavana, St. Thomas Wake." This tendency in English music towards
definiteness of idea, and away from all that is vague, has been already
noted in our chapter on "Folk Songs."

The "Courante Jewel" is an interesting example of a form of variation
that has now become practically obsolete. It consists of four separate
melodies, each immediately followed by its variation. The plan might be
expressed by the following formula: A, a; B, b; C, c; D, d, the large
letters representing the themes and the small letters the variations.
The first theme begins as follows:

                            [Music: score]
      FIGURE XXVIII. From first theme of Bull's "Courante Jewel."

The complete theme is sixteen measures long and is divided off into
phrases of regular length. This is immediately followed by the
variation, the corresponding portion of which will be found in Figure

                            [Music: score]
                  FIGURE XXIX. Part of the variation.

In Figure XXX are shown the first phrases of the second, third and
fourth melodies, in order that the reader may see how distinct is each

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                              FIGURE XXX.

This little piece illustrates what has been already said about freedom
of expression. It does not impress us as strictly dance music; it
is manifestly written for its own sake and represents that natural
tendency to create something beautiful which underlies art everywhere.
But in respect of order and design we find here a decided weakness.
Four separate and successive ideas, each followed by an elaboration
of itself, would make a poor model for any art. One feels a sense of
vagueness after listening to a piece so constructed; no single idea
dominates; one longs for some point upon which the attention may be


Pauer's "Alte Meister," Vol. I, contains another interesting
experiment in the variation form, a "Gavotte and Variations" by Rameau
(1683-1764). The opening phrase of this Gavotte runs as follows:

                            [Music: score]
            FIGURE XXXI. First phrase of Gavotte by Rameau.

In the variation of the above, which will be found in Figure XXXII,
the theme is presented less definitely than in the original, while the
upper part in sixteenth notes makes a kind of free counterpoint.

                            [Music: score]
          FIGURE XXXII. First phrase of Variation by Rameau.

What has been said in our last chapter of Couperin's harpsichord
pieces applies to these variations of Rameau. There is in them a kind
of refinement and delicacy that characterizes all the French music of
that period. The theme itself is less naïve than that of the "Courante
Jewel," and more suggestive of the slow movement themes of the sonatas
of later composers. In fact, this has in it little of the real Gavotte,
its meditative quality is too strong and its rhythms too weak.

These two compositions admirably illustrate the general striving for
some ordered means of expression in secular music that characterizes
the seventeenth century. It was a time of groping. Sacred music had
largely occupied the attention of composers, and few paths had been
opened for those who desired other means of expression, so that the
problem of secularization was the all-important one. It must also
be kept in mind that this particular advance could not take place
until musical instruments and the technique of playing them had
been perfected. As late as 1571 Ammerbach's "Orgel oder Instrument
Tabulatur" was published, forbidding the use of _either the thumb or
little finger_ in organ playing, and writers of the seventeenth century
speak of certain uses of the thumb in playing as "daring innovations."
Couperin in his "L'Art de Toucher le Clavecin," published in Paris in
1717, advocates a system of fingering that still uses the thumb in a
clumsy manner, and it was not until John Sebastian Bach's method of
tuning by "equal temperament" and his new system of fingering came into
use that music for the harpsichord and clavichord was freed from the
old incubus of an awkward mechanical technique. For it is obvious that
an art can never reach anything like perfection as long as its working
materials are inadequate. In piano playing, for example, one could
not use chords spread out far beyond the grasp of the hands until the
sustaining pedal had been invented. While these conditions existed,
composers naturally turned their attention to sacred music and to the
opera, where there were fewer limitations.

Among the many examples of the variation form produced in the time of
Couperin and Rameau the most important are those of Bach and Handel.
Since we are here dealing with the precursors of the sonata and
symphony and with the development of homophonic music, we shall not
discuss Bach's celebrated "Goldberg Variations," which are masterly
examples of his intricate and vivid polyphony, but shall turn to a set
of variations in more modern form by Handel. The reader may, however,
consult the second Sarabande accompanying Chapter V for an example of
Bach's method of elaborating a given theme.


Our chapter on the suite has given the order in which the various
dances usually appeared, and mention was there made of the exceptions
occasionally to be found among the works of adventurous composers.

George Frederic Handel (1685-1759) composed a set of "Suites de Piéces
pour le Clavecin" containing several movements not usually found in
the suite form. Among these are "Allegros," "Prestos," and "Arias con
Variazioni," while in Handel's "Sonatas" are to be found sarabandes,
gavottes, and bourreés. In other words, the suite and the sonata, as
conceived by Handel, are more or less convertible forms; it is not
until the next generation that the modern sonata begins to emerge in
the pianoforte works of Philip Emanuel Bach. (See Chapter VIII.) These
distinctive pieces represent the groping of composers after some new
and more flexible medium of expression than that provided by stiff
dance forms. And this same fundamental principle of growth is what,
many years later, led Beethoven to enlarge the scope of the sonata,
and still later produced the symphonic poem of Liszt and other modern

Each phase of an art has its culmination where a medium becomes
perfected--and therefore exhausted; where the flower blooms and dies.
This point is reached when some great master unites in his works two
essential qualities complementary to each other, namely, the idea and
its formal investiture. Such a point was reached in Bach's Fugues, in
Mozart's Symphonies, and in Beethoven's String Quartets; in all these
the two great elements of perfection were united. In Mozart's G-minor
Symphony, for example, the thing said, and the manner of saying it--the
design, the orchestral expression, etc.--are identical, but in the
instrumental works of Handel the matter was still in process.

"The Harmonious Blacksmith" is in the fifth of the "Suites de Piéces
pour le Clavecin," commonly known as "Lessons," and composed for
Princess Anne, Handel's royal pupil, daughter of the Prince of Wales.
This suite consisted of the following pieces:--I. Prelude, II.
Allemande, III. Courante, IV. Air.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 10.

                _Handel: "The Harmonious Blacksmith,"
                 from the Fifth Suite for Clavichord._

The biographies of Handel give several versions of the story supposed
to be connected with this little piece. It seems to be quite certain
that the composer never used the title, and that it has one at all
is probably due to the fact that the public seems to like a piece
better if it is supposed to be "about" something. Many similar uses of
supposititious titles will occur to the reader, as, for example, the
"Moonlight" sonata of Beethoven, and the "Rain-drop" prelude of Chopin,
neither of which grotesque names was ever sanctioned by the composer.
If this tune of Handel's ever was sung by a burly smith at his forge he
was indeed an "harmonious" blacksmith. In any case, it is a matter of
record that the identical anvil was finally "discovered" by a Mr. Clark
and found a resting place as a curio in an "Egyptian Hall" in London.

The tune itself has qualities familiar enough to students of Handel's
instrumental music. Its final cadence, in particular, is thoroughly
Handelian, and all through it there is that decisive and assertive
manner that characterizes the melodies of this great man. There is
nothing of the mystic about Handel; his oratorios and nearly all his
smaller pieces have a straightforward and uncompromising style. He
never gropes; his music speaks of an unfaltering self-confidence,
unclouded by doubts.

The methods of treatment in the variations is a simple one. The
harmonies remain the same throughout, while the melody is changed in
various ways. In variation I, for example, the first two notes of the
original melody have been made into an arpeggio, or broken chord, and
this treatment persists throughout. In variation II the melody loses
something of its physiognomy, and is only suggested by occasional
notes in the upper or lower part for the right hand, while the left
hand plays a familiar pattern accompaniment. Variation III plays
lightly with the original theme, hovering around it with delicate scale

This variation illustrates an important principle of musical
appreciation. Played by itself, without reference to what has preceded
it, it would be so lacking in definiteness as to be uninteresting; its
connection with the original theme, however, lends to it a certain
charm and significance. So in the longer instrumental pieces of the
great masters who followed Handel, we find whole sections whose
meaning depends on their relation to what has preceded them, and
our appreciation of the significance of such passages is in exact
proportion to our powers of co-ordinating in our own minds these
various sections of a work, often separated from each other by a
considerable lapse of time.

The fourth variation is like an inversion of the third, the left hand
now taking the rapid scale passages. Variation V is the least definite
of them all, being made of scales played against chords that dimly
outline the original melody.

"The Harmonious Blacksmith" is not a highly developed piece of music,
for it lacks one essential element--in an instrumental piece as long
as this there should be some _germination_. The several variations of
this melody are merely slightly altered versions of the original idea;
in highly developed specimens of this form each variation is a new
creation germinated from the parent thought.


Reference has already been made in our chapter on "The Rondo" to the
great advance in pianoforte music brought about by Philip Emanuel
Bach and Haydn, but Haydn's Andante with Variations in F-minor is
still more mature than any of the pieces to which we referred. In
fact, this Andante is Haydn's most charming pianoforte piece, uniting
as it does the best of his qualities. It is the first composition in
homophonic style we have studied in which the interest of the listener
is constantly engaged from beginning to end. There are here no bald
repetitions, as in the Rondo of Mozart, no meaningless accompaniment
figures, no conventional endings, but from first to last Haydn tempts
us onward by constantly unfolding new beauties, yet never leaves us
vaguely wandering, doubtful of our starting point. In short, this
andante is a fine example of a well organized piece of music; it is
full of variety, yet its unity is unmistakable.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 11.

             _Haydn: Andante with Variations in F-Minor._

It is unusual for a variation theme to be in two distinct parts, as
is the case here. The chief theme in F-minor is followed by a "trio"
theme in F-major of quite a distinct character. This is one of the many
interesting experiments of Haydn in devising new forms or combining old
ones. The weakness of this arrangement is that the whole theme is a
little too long; it lacks the conciseness that is necessary to a theme
that is to be treated in a long series of variations. The trio theme is
also less interesting than the first theme and does not lend itself so
readily to variations.

An important principle of musical development is involved here. It will
be found from an examination of the music of the great composers that
the most perfect lyric melodies do not germinate, whereas themes like
the first theme of this andante, the first theme of Beethoven's Fifth
Symphony--which are not by any means beautiful lyric melodies--are
pregnant with possibilities. Any perfect melody like "Annie Laurie,"
for example, is a complete thing; nothing can be added to it or taken
away from it. The two themes just mentioned, on the contrary, are made
up of motives which are characterized by some individual quality and
which contain certain potentialities that are realized only as the
piece progresses. And in general it may be noted that the distinctly
lyric composers, such as Schubert, Schumann, and Grieg, have not been
conspicuously successful in those larger forms where this principle is
most operative.

The little motive of five notes with which the right hand part of the
andante by Haydn begins illustrates this. There is hardly a measure of
the original theme and of its variations in which this motive is not
heard, and the variety Haydn imparts to it is quite remarkable. The
trio theme, on the other hand, is more lyric--more song-like, and, as a
consequence, we find the variations consist of elaborate ornamentations
of the theme rather than of new ideas germinated from it.

Variation I is a particularly interesting example of Haydn's style. The
syncopation in the right hand part, with its delicacy of utterance,
and its occasional tender poignancy (as at measure 52) gives to
this portion of the piece an unusual charm. The transposition of
the syncopation to the left hand (at measure 56) is particularly
interesting because of the delicate dissonances that result. The
passage at measures 83-88 might almost have been written by Rameau or
Couperin, so full is it of trills and other ornaments. This is in the
old harpsichord style of the generation before Haydn.

Variation II preserves the harmony of the original theme, but supplants
its melody by a fluent and interesting passage in sixteenth notes that
passes at will from one hand to the other.

These two free variations, through which the original theme has dimly
shone, are now succeeded by a finale, so called, in which the theme is
presented in its simple form as if to bring the listener home again
after his excursions afield. And here, it should be specially noted,
Haydn omits all reference to the trio theme, as if conscious of its
inferiority. The whole finale (from measure 147) is a kind of dramatic
summing up of the story, and serves much the same purpose as that of
the restatement in ternary form.

The passage between measures 195 and 200 is an interesting example of
a process common in pure music. Here the motive of three notes (in
right hand), derived from the original five note motive in measure 1,
gradually loses its physiognomy until its characteristic outline has
entirely disappeared and it has become a purely conventional figure. A
celebrated example of this process is shown in Figure XXXIII from the
first movement of Beethoven's String Quartet, op. 59, No. 1.

                            [Music: score]
    First phrase of Theme from Beethoven's Quartet, op. 59, No. 1.

                            [Music: score]
                   Passage from Development Section.

                            FIGURE XXXIII.

The passage from which the second of the quotations is taken is one
of the most beautiful in all chamber music, and the whole development
section in this wonderful movement will repay the closest study.

Haydn's andante ends with a few tender allusions to the persistent
motive of the original theme, which faintly echoes in pathetic cadence.
Such passages endear Haydn to us because of their genuineness. There is
nothing false in his sentiment; he is always straightforward, he always
writes unaffectedly. Among the great composers he stands apart as a
simple-hearted man, who was without guile, and who retained to the end
of his life the same childlike naïveté.

                            V. THE MINUET.

The general characteristics of dances like the minuet, gavotte, etc.,
have been referred to in Chapter IV, where the inclusion of the minuet
in the sonata and symphony of the classical period was noted. We are
here chiefly concerned with the effect of this inclusion on the minuet
itself and with its status in the group of movements that made up the
cyclic form.

The minuet is a dance of French origin, characterized by stateliness
and grace. The earliest music written for it consisted of one melody
containing two eight measure phrases. These were gradually lengthened,
and finally a second minuet was added as in the gavotte. Bach used
the minuet sparingly in his suites. The reader is referred to the
fourth English Suite, which contains a minuet followed by minuet II,
not called "Trio." Handel occasionally incorporates the minuet in his
suites and frequently uses it as the last movement in his oratorio
overtures. All these old minuets were in slow tempo, but the desire
for freedom of expression impelled composers not only to expand them
in various ways, but, finally, to increase their speed. This important
change was doubtless largely inspired by the desire for contrast in
the movements of the symphony, for in the sonatas of Haydn and Mozart
we find the middle movement usually an andante or adagio, and when the
minuet[21] is incorporated it is in slow tempo.

Practically all the minuets of Bach and Handel as well as those of
the Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven period were written in what we have called
"simple ternary form," the second minuet, or trio, constituting the
middle section, B. Occasionally a minuet with two trios appears, in
which case the form becomes A, B, A, C, A. Marches (which are commonly
in simple ternary form) are quite frequently written with two trios,
the most familiar example being the well known wedding march by

The symphonic minuet is the only relic of the suite retained in the
sonata and symphony. The changes it underwent through this promotion
from the ranks of the old dances were not only changes of tempo, but
of spirit or essence. For whereas it had been demure, conventional,
and stately, as if pervaded by a kind of courtly grace, it became in
Haydn's time a wayward, humorous, and even frolicsome member of musical
society, and provided a certain lightness and spontaneity much needed
in the sober symphonic family.

The reader is urged to consult any of the minuets to be found in the
string quartets or symphonies of Haydn and Mozart. These popular short
movements are so available in arrangements for the piano that it is not
thought necessary to incorporate one here.


_Grove's Dictionary: articles "Minuet," "Sonata," and "Symphony."
Shedlock: "The Pianoforte Sonata." Mason: "Beethoven and His


[20] In Bach's English Suites a Prelude is placed before the Allemande.

[21] See the Minuet in Haydn's piano sonata in E-flat (No. 3 in
Schirmer edition) and the Minuet in Mozart's well known piano sonata in
A-major (with the Theme and Variations).

                             CHAPTER VIII

                            SONATA-FORM I.


Undoubtedly the most important of all musical forms to-day is the
sonata, as will easily be recognized if we remember that not only
the pieces which bear this name as a title, but also the numerous
symphonies, overtures, concertos, and trios, quartets, quintets, and
so on, are examples of this form. The symphony is simply a sonata,
on a large scale, for orchestra; the overture is a similar piece for
orchestra, in one movement; the concerto is, as it were, a symphony
with a solo instrument emphasized or placed in the foreground; trios,
quartets, quintets, etc., are sonatas for various groups of string
and wind instruments. Thus it will be seen that the bulk of all
instrumental music is cast in this ever available and useful form of
the sonata.

At this point, however, a confusion is likely to arise from the fact
that the term "sonata" is used in two senses. It means sometimes a
complete piece of music in three or more distinct movements; at other
times it means a scheme or plan of musical structure exemplified in one
or more of these movements, usually the first. When used in this sense
it is generally coupled with the word "form": this is the way in which
we shall use it here, letting "sonata-form" mean this peculiar type of
musical structure, to be described in detail presently, while using
"sonata" alone to name a complete composition of which one or more
movements are in "sonata-form."

The sonata, as written by Philip Emanuel Bach, Haydn, Mozart,
Beethoven, and modern composers, usually contains some movements in
forms more primitive than "sonata-form," and already familiar to us.
Thus the minuet, which often appears as the second or third movement
of a sonata, has changed little since Mozart's day; the rondo,
frequently used in the finale of a sonata, remains in all essentials as
it is presented in the last diagram of Chapter VI; and the theme and
variations, so far as its formal plan is concerned, has remained very
much as Haydn left it, although, in common with the rondo, it has been
vastly enriched in content and diversified in style by the genius of

                    II. ESSENTIALS OF SONATA-FORM.

The element of true novelty in sonatas is to be found, not in
these primitive movements, but rather in those movements which are
in "sonata-form," and which show a breadth of conception and an
elaboration in development never found in simple lyric forms like
the minuet. This breadth and elaboration is always the result of
a germination of musical thought, such as we have already often
mentioned, and by virtue of which alone a composition can take on real
grandeur of proportions. The essentials of sonata-form are (1) the
presentation of two or more themes or subjects in that section known
as the Exposition, and symbolized in our diagrams by the letter A;
(2) the evolution of these themes, by means of melodic germination,
in that section known as the Development, and symbolized by B;
and (3) the restatement of the original themes, rounding out the
movement symmetrically, in the section known as the Recapitulation,
and symbolized again by A on account of its practical identity with
the Exposition. It matters not which movement of a sonata takes this
characteristic form, whether, as in the majority of cases, it is the
first (whence the term "first-movement form," often used as a synonym
for "sonata-form") or the slow movement, as often happens, or the
finale. Wherever sonata-form exists we find this three-part sectional
structure, resulting from the natural germination in the middle section
of the musical ideas stated in the first, followed by their restatement
in the third section.

The reader may ask at this point, in what respect such a form differs
from the simple ternary form illustrated in a minuet, for example,
wherein the second section usually contains some development of the
theme, and the third some recapitulation. The answer is that in the
sonata-form the enlargement of the proportions throughout results,
first, in the substitution of complete and more or less contrasting
themes, for the rather slight musical subject of a minuet, and second,
in the substitution of a long and elaborate development of these
themes for the rather casual and superficial modification of the
subject which forms the second section of a minuet. Moreover, in the
sonata-form a novel feature is the contrast introduced by making the
first section embody duality of key (first theme in tonic, second in
related key) while the third section, by presenting both themes in
the tonic, embodies unity of key. Nevertheless it remains true that
sonata-form is, both logically and historically, a development of such
simple forms as we have in the minuet, as is indicated by the name of
"developed ternary form" often given to it.[22]

Sonata-form is thus but an extreme application of certain essential
principles of structure exemplified in simple ways in other more
primitive musical forms, and for that matter in many other departments
of life. It is perhaps not over-fanciful to discover the same
principles in the construction of a novel, in which we often find:
first, the presentation of certain characters, more or less in
antagonism; second, the development of the plot and of the characters
themselves; and third, the reconciliation of the characters in the
_denouement_. Similarly, a sermon consists of (1) the assertion of a
text or subject of discourse, (2) the illustration of its truth by
examples and other elucidations of what is implied in it, and (3) a
final restatement of it with the greater force made possible by its
discussion. Or again, we may see striking analogies to the artistic
form we are considering in such processes of nature as the budding,
flowering, and death of a plant, or in human life with its youth, its
period of activity, and its time of retrospect.


Sonata-form, historically speaking, first takes definite shape in the
work of Philip Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), the most distinguished of
the sons of the great Sebastian Bach. Though not a man of the highest
creative genius, C. P. E. Bach possessed an ingenuity and a pioneering
spirit which led him to make innovations so important that Haydn and
Mozart freely acknowledged their debt to him. Feeling that music in
the polyphonic style had reached its full development, he was original
and adventurous enough to seek new means of expression and a novel
combination of features of style already familiar.

In order to understand the situation that confronted him we must put
aside temporarily the impressions we have received from the Andante
of Haydn and the Rondo of Mozart, since both these compositions were
produced at a time when his influence had already made itself felt.
He had to face the problem of writing instrumental music that should
be free from the constraining influence of the dance, of polyphonic
style, and of the elaborately ornamented style of operatic music. He
had also to find out how to unify a long piece of instrumental music
by co-ordinating all its parts. The only solution of these problems
lay in inventing what might be called _pure instrumental melody_:
_i. e._, melody that was essentially expressive in the particular
medium employed--the piano, the violin, the orchestra--and that was
unhampered either by strict poetic or dance forms, or by the peculiar
phraseology of polyphony. He did not, to be sure, entirely achieve
this; we find evidences of both the older styles in his music. But an
examination of any instrumental masterpiece of Beethoven will reveal
how much he owed to the pioneer labors of C. P. E. Bach.

We must here caution the reader against the supposition that music
at this particular time leaped suddenly forward. The tendencies that
we have been speaking of were latent long before Philip Emanuel Bach
appeared, and there was no strict line of demarcation where one kind of
music stopped and another began. Organic development never progresses
in that way; each phase of it begins slowly, becomes eventually
operative, and dies as slowly as it began. And there were other
composers working at that time on the same problems; composers who were
of considerable importance then, but whose names are now forgotten.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 12.

 _Philip Emanuel Bach: Piano Sonata_[23] _in F-Minor, First Movement._

This Sonata has three movements: 1. Fast (Allegro assai); 2. Slow
(Andante cantabile); 3. Slow (Andantino grazioso). The third of these
is marked "attacca" to indicate that the usual pause between the
movements is to be omitted. In the second and third movements the
themes themselves and their treatment reveal the tentative nature of
Bach's efforts. Each of these themes is over-embellished; each has
something of the vagueness usual in piano music of his time, and yet
there is a distinct tendency towards definite, strophic melody such as
is common in the sonatas of Haydn and Mozart.

But the first movement of this sonata of Philip Emanuel Bach's is quite
remarkable. Its theme is definite, its phraseology clear and concise,
and its form well rounded. In fact a comparison of the opening measures
with those of the theme from Beethoven's first sonata will reveal a
decided similarity. Beethoven's theme is constructed from a figure or
phrase, ascending like an arpeggio higher and higher, until a climax is
reached, after which the melody dies down to a pause or half cadence
on the dominant chord. This is precisely what happens with the theme
of Philip Emanuel Bach, although the second half of the theme is more
regular than Beethoven's, the complete melody being in what might be
called "verse form," each two-measure phrase corresponding to a line of

More important still, however, is the quality of the melody itself.
It is distinctly in the style suitable for the piano; there is no
evidence of the old song melody, nor of polyphonic phraseology, nor
of dance tunes. This is, in short, one of the earliest examples of
pure pianoforte music, using the term in a modern sense. Another
interesting point in this movement is the presence of two contrasting
themes in the Exposition. "The principle of alternately stating
two contrasting themes, which found its ultimate expression in the
successive presentation of first and second subjects, had been familiar
to the musical world as long as minuets and trios, gavottes, musettes,
and the like, had been in vogue, but the process by which the two
subjects are allowed to be interwoven with each other, or to generate,
as it were, new material having its origin in something that has gone
before, opened out a world of fresh possibilities to the composers of
the later times, and gave them opportunities which had been altogether
withheld from Bach and his contemporaries." "Oxford History of Music,"
Vol. IV, p. 141. The two themes constitute the material out of which
the whole movement grows or germinates, so that they somewhat resemble
characters in a story, and this analogy is further carried out in the
quality of the themes themselves, the first being usually vigorous
and to a certain degree non-lyric, while the second is lyric and more
sentimental; as if one were masculine and the other feminine.

But in this movement of Philip Emanuel Bach's Sonata the second theme
is hardly more than an embryo. It begins at measure 16, and occupies
only ten measures, the last five of which are somewhat vague and
rhapsodical. Thus its entire effect is somewhat indefinite, and if we
compare it with the second theme of any modern sonata we shall realize
that it is very imperfectly individualized. The second theme did not
become an essential and distinct element of sonata-form until somewhat
later; in Philip Emanuel Bach, and even in many movements of Haydn, it
remains completely subordinate to its more important companion, the
first theme. Following the second theme--at measure 26--a coda ensues.
This important factor in musical form has been already referred to in
our chapters on "The Rondo" and "The Variation." Its office here is
the same as in former examples, namely, to round out this part of the
movement properly and to emphasize the close of the first section.

The exposition (A) extends through measure 34 and is concluded with
a double-bar. During the period from Philip Emanuel Bach to Mozart
this portion of the movement was always repeated in order to make it
perfectly familiar to the listener. The development section begins
immediately after the double-bar and extends to the point where the
first theme returns in its original form; in this movement that point
is reached at measure 66. We have already pointed out certain simple
methods of generation in music, as in the Bach Gavotte discussed in
Chapter IV, but we now have to consider the growth of a long section of
a composition from certain germs contained in the original theme. And
this brings up an important question: How do musical themes generate?
In the Bach Gavotte a brief phrase of one measure duration blossoms out
into a passage six measures long. This may be observed by reference to
Figure XXXIV, in which (a) represents the original phrase and (b) the
expansion of it.

                            [Music: score]

                             [Music: score]

                             FIGURE XXXIV.

This development, however, is hardly more than an extension of the
original phrase. For the purposes of sonata-form something more radical
and far reaching, something more like new creation is necessary.
Without going into detail[24] we may be content with pointing out
the essential principle of this more radical development. Analysis
shows that it always depends on the selection of certain salient
characteristics of the original themes and representation of them under
new guises, or under new conditions.

Just as a novelist develops his characters by letting their fundamental
peculiarities manifest themselves in all sorts of ways and among all
kinds of circumstances, meanwhile paying but scant attention to their
more accidental or superficial traits, so the composer of a sonata
seizes upon whatever is individual in his themes--a strong rhythm,
a peculiar turn of phrase, a striking bit of harmony--and repeats
and insists upon it tirelessly, with whatever variation of minor
details his ingenuity may suggest. An examination of this process of
generation in the works of Haydn and Mozart will make these important
points clear. In Figure XXXV (a), is shown a brief quotation from
the beginning of the first movement of Haydn's Symphony in D-major.
Although this theme has no pronounced rhythmic figures the four
repeated notes in measure 3 are unusual in a simple melody of this
type, and Haydn chooses them (with the first two notes in the next
measure) as the first subject of his development section.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                             FIGURE XXXV.

At _b_ in the above quotation will be found a short passage from the
beginning of the development section of the same movement. This passage
illustrates the detachment of a characteristic motive in a melody, and
here the use of it in various keys as a means of setting forth, as it
were, its latent possibilities. Here a certain element in the theme is
freed and takes on an existence of its own, and until the very end of
the section we hear it over and over again in different parts of the

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                             FIGURE XXXVI.

The methods of germination employed by Haydn in the foregoing
illustration were typical of his time. Mozart commonly relies, in his
development sections, on the interest provided by presenting some
salient motive in a variety of keys and with polyphonic treatment.
Examples of this are to be found in Figure XXXVI, containing (a) the
original motive from the first movement of his string quartet in
C-major, dedicated to Haydn, and (b), (c), short excerpts from the
development section of the same movement.

It will be observed that in (b), the viola imitates the first violin
while the second violin and 'cello reiterate the four eighth-notes of
the original motive, and that, in (c), the 'cello takes the motive,
while each of the three upper parts sounds the eighth-notes, staccato;
the contrasts of key should also be observed. This is a very concise
and logical example of the methods of generation employed by Haydn and

The first theme of the movement by Philip Emanuel Bach has two salient
qualities: it progresses by leaps upward, and it has a peculiarly
noticeable rhythm. These two properties are brought into play almost
immediately. After a brief statement of the opening phrase of the theme
(36-39) in the relative major key--as if to tell us what is to be the
subject of this part of the movement--the composer proceeds to evolve
a passage (40-44) with chords (in the right hand) in the rhythm of the
theme, and against them (in the left hand) a passage containing the
leaps upward. This is further varied by free changes in harmony.

The initial phrase of the first theme and a brief quotation from this
passage in the development section are shown in Figure XXXVII.

This development is, however, all too short. After measure 44 the
music becomes discursive, showing no longer any definite bearing on the
original subject matter.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                             FIGURE XXXVII

This discursiveness is a natural characteristic of the formative period
in the evolution of sonata-form, before composers had learned the
necessity of a close logical development throughout.

The "restatement after contrast" in sonata-form is commonly known
as the "recapitulation." In the early specimens of the form the
recapitulation was, except in its harmonies, almost identical with the
exposition. Here the first theme is reduced to one half its original
length, which is rather an unusual abbreviation. Mr. Hadow, in his
"Sonata Form," lays down the following rule for this portion of the
movement: "The recapitulation should not contain any noticeably fresh
material; it should follow the main thought of the exposition with no
important parentheses or divergences, and, when it varies, should do so
in a manner which does not obscure the subjects, but only sets them in
a new light."

In Figure XXXVIII is shown the foregoing plan in the form of a diagram.
This should be compared with the similar diagrams in Chapter IX.


              A              |           B            |         A
          Exposition         |      Development       |   Recapitulation
Introduction (optional)      |This section is based on|Theme I.
Theme I, usually followed by |themes already presented|Transition (?)
  a short transition, or link|in the Exposition       |Theme II in tonic or
Theme II in contrasting key  |                        |  home key
Coda                         |                        |Coda
(Duality of harmony)         |(Plurality of Harmony)  |(Unity of Harmony)

                   IV. HARMONY AS A PART OF DESIGN.

There remains to be considered the important factor of harmony, or
arrangement of keys. This arrangement is shown in the diagram, Figure
XXXVIII; but the principle involved is an important one, and the mere
statement of Duality, Plurality and Unity hardly suffices to explain
it. There seems to be no doubt that the subtle uses composers make of
harmony are less intelligible to the average listener than are the uses
of themes. A theme represents, as it were, a line, and since it is the
tune that, for most listeners, constitutes the music the attention of
the listeners is readily drawn to changes which materially affect it.
Harmonic design, on the other hand--the setting of one key or series
of keys against another--is often only dimly recognized, if at all,
although it is of the greatest importance in all modern music. In
sonata-form the harmonic plan (described above by the terms Duality,
Plurality and Unity) adds an important element since it unifies the
last section by stating both first and second theme in the same key.
And in the middle, or development section, the freedom of harmonic
progression--the multitude of keys--gives great variety and enables the
composer freely to indulge his fancy.

In the present movement Bach chooses at times certain remote keys that
impart to this section of the piece a charm of their own. The passage
beginning on the second beat of measure 54 illustrates this: the four
measures that follow are all in the remote key of F-flat major. (The
reader should examine each of the modulations that occurs in the
development section.) However unconscious of the charm of harmonic
variety the average listener may be, he would surely be conscious of
monotony were the piece all in one or even two keys. And since the
tendency of the music of to-day is to exalt harmony at the expense
of melody, it is desirable that the student should pay particular
attention to these early phases of harmonic structure, so as to be able
to appreciate this important element in modern music. In fact the whole
progress of music since Haydn has been steadily onward towards a free
use of the different keys, and as our ears have become accustomed to
new combinations of chords, we have gradually come to feel the beauty
that lies in glowing musical colors, and to accept them as a legitimate
means of expression. In our chapters on Beethoven this phase of musical
development will receive fuller attention.

                              V. SUMMARY.

In this movement of C. P. E. Bach, despite its many crudities, there
is taken a long step toward the establishment of modern sonata-form.
The main divisions of the form, exposition, development, and
recapitulation, appear clearly; solid harmonic structure is attained
by the sequence of duality, plurality, and unity; there are two
contrasting themes, though the second is rudimentary; the general
principle of development of themes through insistence on salient
features is illustrated; and the whole movement is written in a style
well suited to the piano, and emancipated from the influence of
polyphony and of the short dance and song forms.

In the next chapter we shall see how Haydn and Mozart proceeded to
build more elaborate structures on the foundation thus laid by C. P. E.


_Dickinson: "The Study of the History of Music," Chapter XIV. Grove:
"Dictionary of Music," articles on "Bach, Philip Emanuel," "Sonata,"
"Form." C. H. H. Parry: "Evolution of the Art of Music," Chapters VII
and IX (Appleton). "Oxford History of Music," Volume IV._


[22] It will be noted that there are three names for this one type of
structure: "Sonata-form," "First-movement form," and "Developed ternary

[23] No. 1 in the edition by Peters, Leipzig.

[24] See Hadow's "Sonata-Form" (Novello) Chapter VII, for a discussion
of the various methods of theme-development.

                              CHAPTER IX.

                            SONATA-FORM II.

                     I. HAYDN AND THE SONATA-FORM.

The type of musical structure which first took on definite shape in
the work of Philip Emanuel Bach, the type which may be defined as
consisting essentially of the exposition, development, and restatement
of two contrasted themes, and to which the name of sonata-form is
given, was not reduced to perfect clearness until the time of Haydn
(1732-1809), who because of his labors in this field is often called
"The father of the symphony."[25] Having the inestimable advantage
of being concert-master, for a period of thirty years (1761-1791),
to the princely house of the Esterhazys, where he had a small but
good orchestra under his direction, and was expected constantly to
produce new pieces for it to play, he was practically forced to write
an astonishing amount of music, in all of which this form figured
prominently. Hardly one of his hundred and twenty-five symphonies,
and his seventy-seven string quartets, etc., is without one or more
examples of sonata-form. Such constant practice enabled him to carry it
far beyond the rather indeterminate state in which Philip Emanuel Bach
left it, and to crystallize it as a structural type for all time.

Among the most important advances made by Haydn over the practice of
his predecessor, as we saw it illustrated in the last chapter, were
(1) the greater importance and individuality given to the second
theme[26]; (2) the abolishment of merely rhapsodical passages, and
the substitution of successions of chords marking off unmistakably
the various sections of the movement; (3) increased definition at
the end of the exposition section, in the "codetta," which, in some
instances, even has a definite theme or themes of its own, called
conclusion-themes; (4) greater clearness in the key-system of the
whole movement, according to the principle of Duality-Plurality-Unity
already discussed; (5) increased importance and extent of the coda,
which sometimes grows to the proportions of a fourth section to the
movement; (6) use of an introduction, generally in slow time and of a
stately character, preparing the mind for serious attention. It will
be noted that all these advances are in the direction of making the
form more definite, clear-cut, and readily intelligible, as it was most
important that it should be made in its early existence until it was
perfectly familiar to the audience. Increased _variety_ came later, in
the work of Mozart and Beethoven, and could come only after the typical
structure was thoroughly understood by the public. Thus Haydn's
function was that of a systematizer, an establisher of sure foundations
on which more elaborate and free superstructures may later be built;
and for this work his clear, simple, well-disciplined mind and his
thorough rather than brilliant artistic technique admirably fitted him.

These points will be made clear by an analysis of an example of
sonata-form, taken from the "Surprise" Symphony which he wrote for
London audiences in 1791, toward the close of his career.

The general structure, as regards both themes and larger sections, may
be conveniently shown in tabular form, thus:--

                         "SURPRISE" SYMPHONY.

  Main Divisions.   |                 Themes.                 |Measures.
Slow Introduction   |                                         |   1-17
Exposition (A)      |First theme, G-major                     |  18-22
                    |Passage work                             |  22-39
                    |First theme, repeated                    |  40-44
Duality of Harmony  |Transition to key of D-major (Dominant)  |  44-67
                    |Second theme, D-major                    |  67-80
                    |Third, or Conclusion theme, D-major      |  81-93
                    |"Cadences," emphasizing close in this key| 93-108
Development (B)     |                                         |
Plurality of Harmony|                                         |109-156
Recapitulation (A)  |First theme, G-major                     |156-160
                    |Passage work                             |160-185
                    |Second theme, now in G-major             |185-196
Unity of Harmony    |Further working of First theme           |196-231
                    |Conclusion theme, now in G-major         |231-244
                    |"Cadences," emphasizing the home key of  |
                    |  G-major                                |244-259

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 13.

 _Haydn:_[27] _"Surprise Symphony" the first movement. Two-hand piano
              arrangement of twelve Symphonies of Haydn._

The first thing that strikes us about the general character of this
movement is its admirable clearness, in which it is representative
of all Haydn's work. In spite of its being so much larger and more
complex than the sonata of Philip Emanuel Bach, its structure is so
obvious that a child could hardly go astray in following it. This is
in large measure due to the pains the composer takes to emphasize each
key and each change of key by means of scale-passages and chords.
(See, for example, measures 59-67, emphasizing the key of D-major,
and the entire conclusion-portions of both the exposition and the
recapitulation (67-108) and (185-259), one insisting on D-major, the
other on G-major.) Such passages as these have been much criticised for
their conventionality and lack of melodic interest, but when we realize
how they _punctuate_ the movement, so to speak, and what a perfect
clearness they give it, we realize how important they were to the early
stage of development of the sonata-form, when its principles had not
become as universally familiar as they are now. They are an immense
advance over the vague rhapsodizings of Philip Emanuel Bach in parallel

The key-relationships of the movement follow the usual practice. In
the exposition we find duality of key: G-major and D-major. In the
development there is ample plurality.

In the recapitulation the home key, G-major, dominates throughout.

Haydn's second theme, though more definite than Philip Emanuel Bach's,
is still somewhat lacking in individuality. It is hardly more than a
string of chords and scales having more tonal interest than melodic
life. It is certainly far from being a lyrical melody strikingly
contrasted with the more energetic first theme. The conclusion theme,
full of Haydnish amiability, grace, and good cheer, is much more
definitely melodious.

Another symptom of the crudity inseparable from early stages of
artistic evolution is the shortness and rather mediocre interest of
the development section. The first theme is briefly but monotonously
treated in measures 109-126. Then comes (127-132) a little playing, in
the bass, with the small figure which first appeared in (44-45):

                            [Music: score]
                        Germ (measures 44-45.)

                            [Music: score]
                        Development (127 seq.)

                            FIGURE XXXVIIIa.

and later (133-135), an _inversion_ of this:

                            [Music: score]
                         Inversion (133 seq.)

                            [Music: score]
                           Later (136 seq.)

                             FIGURE XXXIX.

The rhythmic figure thus established is made to do duty in the
extended modulation that immediately follows (136-143), after which
comes (144-155) a reminiscence of the passage first used just before
the second theme; and with this Haydn returns to his first theme
and enters on the recapitulation. It is thus almost as if, after
stating his themes, he was at a loss what to do with them, and after
a brief dalliance, from which little novelty results, hurried on to
the restatement, much as an unimaginative preacher tries to make up
by the vehemence with which he reasserts his text for his failure to
give it vivid illustration and suggestive elucidation. In Beethoven's
symphonies the development is usually the point of greatest interest.
But it is of course not fair to expect of a pioneer the last fruits
of culture. Haydn lays down in such movements as the present one the
essential principles of form in instrumental music; to have done
that, with whatever minor shortcomings, is a sufficient claim upon our
admiration and gratitude.

The shortcomings of Haydn's work are those natural to his circumstances
as a pioneer and to certain emotional limitations of his temperament.
Compared with Beethoven he is lacking both in profundity of feeling
and in variety of style; he is less brilliant and less polished than
Mozart. But on the other hand, Haydn has a homely simplicity, a sort
of childlike charm, all his own; he lives in a world of artistic
truth untainted by sophistry, uncomplicated by oversubtlety; he
is always clear, sincere, straightforward, and he often rises to
nobility and true dignity. Above all, he has the peculiar merit of
having taken up a sort of music which was fragmentary and immature,
and of having elevated it into a new, an essentially modern, and an
infinitely promising type of art. Such a fundamental work can never be
discredited by the more brilliant exploits of later workers who have
the indispensable advantage of building upon it.

                    II. MOZART AND THE SONATA-FORM.

Though Haydn (1732-1809) was not only by many years the senior of
Mozart (1756-1791), but also outlived him, the relations between the
two were most cordial and close. Haydn had done much of his best work
before 1788, when Mozart wrote his three greatest symphonies, and so
may be said to have served as Mozart's model. Yet he in turn learned
much from his younger but more brilliant friend, and did not write his
own greatest symphonies (the twelve so-called "Salomon" symphonies,
which were written for Salomon, a London orchestral conductor, in 1791
and 1794, and of which the "Surprise" is one) until after Mozart's
untimely death. How thoroughly each man respected the other, we know
from their own words. Mozart in dedicating his six finest string
quartets to Haydn, said: "It was due from me, for it was from him that
I learned how quartets should be written." As for Haydn, he once put
an end to an argument on the merits and defects of "Don Giovanni" by
remarking: "I cannot decide the questions in dispute, but this I know,
that Mozart is the greatest composer in the world."

Mozart not only had the great advantage of building on Haydn's secure
foundations, but he brought to the task a genius much more supreme than
his predecessor's. From his earliest composition, a minuet written
when he was only five years old,[28] to the three great symphonies in
G-minor, E-flat major, and C-major ("Jupiter") produced at the end
of his career, a movement from the first of which we shall presently
study, all his work shows a spontaneity of inspiration, a graciousness
of melody, a stoutness and symmetry of musical construction, a finish
of style, a depth of emotional expression, and a classical lucidity and
purity, perhaps not to be found all together in the work of any other
musician. Especially does he excel Haydn in profundity of feeling,
versatility of resource, and a certain aristocratic distinction. All
these qualities are shown in his great G-minor Symphony, one of his
supreme masterpieces.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 14.

        _Mozart: Symphony in G-minor, the first movement._[29]

                           G-MINOR SYMPHONY.

  Main Divisions.   |                Themes.                   |Measures.
Exposition (A)      |                                          |   1-100
  comprising        |First theme                               |    1-27
                    |Transition, on a subsidiary theme          |  28-42
                    |Second theme, in relative major key       |   44-72
Duality of Harmony  |Conclusion theme, built on first theme    |   72-88
                    |Cadence formulas emphasizing              |
                    |  the key of B-flat                       |   88-99
                    |Modulation                                |    100.
Development Section,|                                          |
or Free Fantasia (B)|                                          | 101-165
                    |Modulation continued                      | 101-103
                    |First theme in various keys               | 104-115
Plurality of Harmony|First theme, alternating between bass     |
                    |  and treble, with contrapuntal treatment |
                    |  of the transition theme in "diminution."| 115-134
                    |Cadence in dominant of original key       |
                    |  emphasized                              | 135-138
                    |Rhythm of First theme variously used      | 139-165
Recapitulation (A)  |                                          | 165-293
                    |First theme                               | 165-191
Unity of Harmony    |Transition, on subsidiary theme           | 191-225
                    |Second theme, in G-minor (tonic)          | 227-260
                    |Conclusion theme, First theme             | 260-275
                    |Cadences-formulas, emphasizing G-minor    | 275-285
Coda                |On First theme                            | 286-299

There is no slow introduction, as in Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony,
but there is a short coda. A little detailed comparison with the
Haydn movement will prove interesting. There is none of the rather
meaningless passage work which Haydn uses in his transition from
the first to the second theme; instead there is a subsidiary theme
(measures 28-42) which in spite of its secondary formal importance
is vigorous, strongly characterized music. Instead of an entirely
new theme for conclusion (Haydn, 81-93) we find an adaptation of
the characteristic rhythm of the first theme (72-88) fulfilling the
function of conclusion theme--to emphasize the close of the first
section of the movement--by harping constantly on the tonic and
dominant chords. This adaptation of familiar matter to a new purpose
is ingenious. The return to the first theme, after the development
section, is beautifully managed. Over a held D in the bass, beginning
at measure 160, the upper voices weave a gradually descending passage
out of the motive of the first theme (three notes only). There is a
slight retarding, a sense of decreasing momentum, until, with the
unobtrusive entrance of the theme in measure 165, a new start is
taken, and the recapitulation goes merrily onward. The apparently
unpremeditated nature of this entrance (though of course it was
carefully planned) is charming.

In the recapitulation, the subsidiary theme which first appeared
at 28-42, enters at 191, and is made the subject of a considerable
episode. It appears in the bass at 198. Note the sequence at 202-203,
and 204-205. The second theme, on its second appearance (227), is not
only put in the tonic key of G, but is changed from major to minor.
This gives rise to an interesting change in its expression. Instead of
being merely tender and ingenuous, as its first and major form was, it
takes on now a certain air of mystery and of resignation or controlled
pathos. The conclusion theme (260) is also now put into the minor mode.
The coda is short, and contains first a final suggestion of the main
subject of the movement, and the necessary cadences for closing it
firmly in the home key.

                     III. MOZART'S ARTISTIC SKILL.

This movement affords a remarkable example of Mozart's power to infuse
endless variety into the details of his work, without ever impairing
its coherence and fundamental unity. He shows here, in short, that
remarkable fecundity of imagination, constantly subordinated to the
demands of clearness and musical logic, which gives all his music a
fascinating variety that never degenerates into miscellaneousness.

For convenience in analysis, we may briefly examine first the elements
of variety and later the underlying unity (though it should be
remembered throughout that in the work itself the two qualities are
intertwined, so to speak, and affect us co-operatively). Thus in the
capital matter of rhythm, for example, the real master of construction
always takes care to maintain the unity of the fundamental meter
with which he starts out, and builds up a variety of rhythms on this
uniform basis by making different themes group the elementary beats
in different ways: as Mozart, in this movement, keeps his measure of
four quarter-notes throughout, but makes the rhythm of his first theme
out of quarters and eighths, and that of his second theme largely out
of dotted halves and quarters. _An actual change of measure_ in a new
theme, such as we find in many modern composers, is often a sign of
deficient mental concentration, a kind of incoherence in which variety
is secured at the expense of unity. The true masters drive their unity
and their variety, so to speak, abreast.

Note then in the first place, the contrasts between the three chief
themes of the movement, viz.: the first theme, the subsidiary theme
that does duty in the transition (28-42), and the second theme.
Their rhythmic diversity may be noted at a glance in the following
comparative table, in which the rhythm only of four measures of each
theme is set down.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                              FIGURE XL.

A reference back to the first movement of the Haydn "Surprise" Symphony
will show Mozart's advance in respect of rhythmical diversity.

A parallel advance in diversity of style is noteworthy. Haydn's
movement is steadily homophonic in style, and grows somewhat monotonous
for that reason. Mozart sets off against his homophonic exposition
section a delightfully clean-cut and vigorous polyphonic passage
founded on the first theme in the development section of the movement
(115-134), and another similar passage in the recapitulation (the new
treatment of the subsidiary, 191-217.).

Again, Mozart uses skillfully the possibilities for variety opened up
to the composer by modulation and setting off against one another of
different keys. A radical and fascinating change of coloring is also
obtained by transposing the second and conclusion themes, on their
final appearance (227 and 260), from major to minor. They are thus
exhibited, as it were, in a new light, while retaining their essential
character sufficiently to be perfectly recognizable.

Underneath all this charming play of fancy, the fundamental plan of
the movement is as clear as the outline of a mountain range under all
the luxuriant foliage that clothes its slopes. This clearness of form
is due chiefly to two causes, a fine logic in the use of themes, and
a careful adjustment of keys. The closeness with which Mozart sticks
to his thematic texts may in some cases at first sight escape us, but
when we come to realize it through careful dissection, we cannot but be
profoundly impressed by the intellectual grasp it indicates. Thus, the
passage at measures 66-67 is not new, but is made from that of 48-49
_inverted_. The conclusion theme (72-88) is not made from new matter,
as is usual with Haydn, but is derived from the little three-note
motive of the first theme. The entire development is wrought out of
new manipulations of the same theme, as is also the coda. The long
transition in the recapitulation (191-225) is made entirely from the
subsidiary. There is here, in a word, none of that "clattering of the
dishes" between the courses. The economy of the master is everywhere
observable; irrelevancies are excluded; there is no superfluity, no
surplusage, no prolixity and wordiness. Every measure fulfils its
purpose in the simplest and most direct way, and justifies its presence
by its reference to the essential thematic ideas of the work.

Unity of key is secured by a careful observation of the main traditions
of the sonata-form in the matter of the distribution of tonalities. The
exposition shows the customary quality of key, tonic (G-minor) being
contrasted with relative major (B-flat major).[30] The development, as
we have already seen, exemplifies plurality of key. The recapitulation
emphasizes throughout the home key of G-minor, thus ending the movement
with the fitting impression of tonal unity. A glance at measures 38-42,
72-99, 134-138, 146-165, 221-225, and 260-307 will show how much pains
Mozart has taken to emphasize his keys at all important points in the
design. The emphasis, as in the case of Haydn, is superfluous for
modern ears, but was very necessary for the audiences addressed by the
early advocates of so complex a scheme of musical design.

Altogether then, we see in such a movement as the present, Mozart
taking the sonata-form a step in advance of where Haydn had left it,
and while preserving its essential outline, filling it with the wealth
of detail which his luxuriant fancy suggested. Later it will become
clear that he was thus preparing it for the still further elaboration
of an even greater master of construction--Beethoven.


_D. G. Mason: "Beethoven and His Forerunners," Chapters V and VI.
C. H. H. Parry: "The Evolution of the Art of Music," Chapter XI. E.
Dickinson: "The Study of the History of Music," Chapters XXIV and XXV._
_W. H. Hadow: "Sonata Form."_


[25] A symphony, as we have seen, is only a sonata, on a large scale,
for orchestra.

[26] Even in Haydn, however, the second themes remain generally rather
rudimentary (see the analysis of his "Surprise Symphony," later in this
chapter). In many cases his second theme is hardly more than a variant
of the first; as for example in the two pianoforte sonatas in E-flat
major. In the first movement of his "Paukenwirbel" Symphony, however,
there is a very distinct second theme, and in many other movements the
student will note a marked tendency toward definition.

[27] Published for piano, two or four hands, by Peters, Leipzig. For
convenience of reference number all measures, and parts of measures,
consecutively. The numbers will run to 258.

[28] See Mason's "Beethoven and His Forerunners," page 218.

[29] Arrangement for piano, two hands, in the Peters edition. Number
the measures throughout. There are three hundred and seven. The general
structure will be seen at a glance in the appended tabular view.

[30] This is according to custom in movements written in minor keys.
The second theme is in such cases usually put in the relative major
instead of in the dominant. (See the chapter on "Folk-Song.")

                              CHAPTER X.

                          THE SLOW MOVEMENT.

                         I. VARIETIES OF FORM.

In the classical sonata the usual arrangement of movements was as
follows: (1) Allegro (in "Sonata-form"): (2) Adagio or Minuet: (3)
Finale (usually a rondo).

Occasionally--as in Mozart's Piano Sonata in A-major--the slow
movement, in the form of a theme and variations, was placed at
the beginning, and in that case the order would be (1) Theme and
Variations, (2) Minuet (3) Finale. The symphony, which, it must be
remembered, was a sonata on a large scale--always began with a movement
in sonata-form, and had four movements. Although the sonata was subject
to many outside influences--most important of which were polyphony and
the old overture and other operatic forms--its two main sources were
dance tunes and folk-songs. The evolution of the dance tune through
Bach's polyphonic gavottes, sarabandes, etc., has already been traced
in Chapters IV, V, and VI, and the influence of the dance on the first
movement in Chapters VIII and IX.

The slow movement is ultimately derived from the folk-song, and, while
more subject to operatic influence than were the other movements,
it still retains something of that simple lyric quality that
distinguished it in its primitive form. Unlike the other movements of
the sonata and symphony, however, the slow movement has no settled
form: _i. e._, while we speak of first-movement, or sonata-form, of
the rondo form, and of the minuet form, we do not speak thus of "slow
movement form." For in the slow movement style rather than form is
of greatest importance. On account of its slow tempo it is shorter
than the first movement, and consequently not so dependent for
intelligibility on formal structure. Its themes, also, are song-like in
character, and song themes, being in themselves complete, do not lend
themselves readily to development--do not generate new material--as
has already been pointed out. As a consequence the slow movement is
usually written in what we call a "sectional" form: _i. e._, a series of
sections following one another according to whatever order or system
the composer may choose. The most common use is, however, the form
employed in the minuet. But in slow movements the long song themes,
somewhat elegiac in style and full of sentiment, make the _mood_ of
each section of supreme importance, and throw the formal element into
the background. So that, while the slow movement usually falls under
some one of the common forms already discussed, it often modifies them
in one way or another.

There are rare instances of developed ternary form in the slow
movements of Mozart's pianoforte sonatas. The Andante of the Sonata in
B-flat (no. 10 in Schirmer's edition), has a development section. It
comprises only nineteen measures, however, and its effect as a section
germinating from the exposition is somewhat lessened by the scheme of
repeats, which is as follows: A :⎜⎜: B. A. :⎜⎜. The use of rondo form
in the slow movement will be discussed in a later chapter.


Reference has already been made in Chapters VI and VII to the lack of
sustaining power in the tone of the pianoforte of Haydn and Mozart's
day, and the consequent use of ornament in their pianoforte music. In
Figure XLI (_a_) is shown the beginning of the andante of Mozart's
sonata referred to above, and at (_b_) will be found the corresponding
portion of the restatement in the same movement. These two quotations
should be compared with the corresponding portions of the two pieces
that serve as examples for analysis with this chapter. This comparison
will reveal how much more highly ornamented was the music written for
the piano than that for instruments with sustained tone.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                              FIGURE XLI.

It will be observed that this quotation from Mozart is in strophic
form; each phrase of two measures constitutes, as it were, a poetic
line, the second of which closes with a half cadence, and the last
with a full cadence or period. In this respect it follows the old
folk-song type, and, indeed, that model serves for the great majority
of lyric themes in sonatas and symphonies. But in its initial qualities
this melody shows a great advance over tunes like "Barbara Alien" and
"Polly Oliver," an advance due to the flexibility to which both melody
and harmony had attained in Mozart's time, and to that freedom of
technique provided by the piano as compared with the voice.

These quotations from Mozart are from a sonata movement which is, on
the whole, above the formal average of the pianoforte pieces of that
period. Many of them were excessively ornamented. In Figure XLII are
shown two quotations from a sonata of Haydn, in the latter of which the
ornaments are profuse.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                             FIGURE XLII.

In spite of the somewhat artificial atmosphere that surrounds much of
the pianoforte music of this period there is, in the best specimens
of it, a charming formal beauty. It is within its own sphere genuine
and true to life. One has to consider the kind of society that it
represents, as well as the status of music in that society. The art was
not, at that time, free enough, nor practical enough, to deal with deep
emotions; people looked on it as a refined sort of amusement. Not until
Beethoven had written his music did its possibilities as a vehicle for
deep human feeling and experience become evident.

                       III. THE STRING QUARTET.

It was not until the time of Haydn that the string quartet[31] came
into being; a fact for which we may easily account by examining the
instrumental parts of orchestral compositions before Haydn's time. We
shall find the 'cello, for example, playing for the most part merely
the bass notes that support the superstructure of the orchestra,
and consequently entirely unaccustomed to individual parts of any
difficulty. Another obstacle in the path of the string quartet was the
slow development of the viola, which only gradually emerged from the
older and more cumbersome types, such as the viola d'amour and viola
da braccio. Haydn began by writing little quartets of the simplest
possible kind--the first movement of the first quartet contains only
twenty-four measures--but by constant practice throughout his long life
he attained a complete mastery of the form. In his early quartets he
usually wrote five movements, two of them minuets, but he soon settled
on the regular four movement form which has remained ever since as the
usually accepted model.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 15.

    _Haydn: Adagio in E-flat major from the String Quartet_[32] _in
                       G-major, op. 77, No. 1._

This Adagio is thoroughly characteristic of Haydn's best style of
writing. It is without the elaborate and somewhat diffuse treatment
we observed in the trio of his "Andante with Variations" (See Chapter
VII), nor does it depend for its effect on the much more artistic use
of ornament employed by Mozart in the Andante quoted in Figure XLI.
Almost everything in this composition germinates from the two motives
given out in measures 1-2 and 3-4, and it should be noted that each
of these motives is sufficiently pronounced in character to serve the
purposes of generation, and that the theme, as a whole, is not by
any means a perfect lyric melody such as will be found in our second
example for analysis.

                            [Music: score]
                             FIGURE XLIII.

The first of these motives (see Figure XLIII, measures 1-2) is easily
traced throughout the whole composition, since the changes that are
made in it are largely changes in key, but the second motive (measures
3-4) almost immediately evolves into something new. This may be
observed in measure 11, where the rhythm of the passage at measure 3
is changed, the melody being given to the left hand. The second part
(or stanza) of the melody, beginning at measure 13, uses chiefly the
phrase from measure 2, which will be found again in the dominant--to
which key this section tends--at measures 21-22. Even the passage at
23 is an elaboration of that at 11, and this same original motive is
lengthened into a delightful bit of by-play at measures 35-37. The
close in C-major at 42, with its accents transferred to the fourth beat
of the measure, should be noted, while the sudden change of key after
the pause was, at that time, almost a revolutionary modulation, and
sounds more like Beethoven than Haydn (see, for example, the sudden
and complete change of key in the coda of the first movement of the
"Eroica" Symphony). The use of the motive from measure 2 at 45-54 and
the gradual elimination of its melodic quality until only its rhythm
remains (53-54) is an interesting example of a familiar process in
music (see Chapter VIII). This gradual dying away and ceasing of motion
is also a familiar process at this point in a movement, providing as it
does a sense of expectancy and preparation for the re-entrance of the
main theme. The restatement begins at measure 55 and as is customary
retains the original key instead of modulating to the dominant as did
the first section. The coda begins at 82 and, according to Haydn's
usual plan, presents a kind of reminiscence of the main subject, as if
in tender farewell.

                     IV. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS.

While this movement does not reach the heights of lyric beauty attained
by Mozart in the Andante which we shall analyze in a moment, it is,
nevertheless, a thoroughly interesting and really beautiful piece of
music. Our attention is constantly enlisted by fresh glimpses of the
theme, or by new harmonies; the ornamentation all grows naturally
out of the structure and is not laid on for its own sake, and the
melody itself is expressive and tender. Furthermore, the themes and
their treatment are characterized by a perfect adaptability to the
string quartet, for even in the pianoforte version, we can observe
how interesting is the part given to each instrument. Here, just as
in a perfect story or a perfect poem, there is nothing redundant,
nothing that has not some part in the main purpose of the work. And
this combination of placid beauty with perfection of form makes what
is called the "Classic" in music. Especially do we find here an entire
absence of those perfunctory passages that occur in the movement of the
"Surprise" Symphony discussed in the last chapter.

Taken as a whole, this piece is immeasurably finer than any movement of
its kind produced up to that time, save alone those of Mozart; and the
advance is not only in method but in the essence of the idea itself.
There is a geniality and warmth about this music that marks a new era.
Bach was more profound, but more isolated; here we have simple human
sentiment and a kind of naïve charm that distinguished Haydn's music
from that of all other composers.

                      V. FORM OF HAYDN'S ADAGIO.

This Adagio of Haydn is a good illustration of what we have called
"sectional form." It may be tabulated as follows:


         1          |         2         |         3         |        4
  Section in E-flat | Section in the    | Section of free   | Double Section
  measures 1-16     | dominant (B-flat) | modulation 30-54  | in E-flat 55-82
                    | 16-30             |                   | Coda      83-91
                    |                   |                   |
                Duality                 |     Plurality     |      Unity

Section four contains practically the same material as Sections 1
and 2, with its last half in the tonic instead of the dominant. It
will be observed that the harmonic plan of the movement is that of
"sonata-form," but that the first two sections (which would constitute
the exposition) are not repeated, as was the invariable custom in
Haydn's first movements. Yet the resemblance is quite close, for
the third part is like a development section and the fourth like a
restatement. Still there is not here that decided difference between
the three sections of exposition, development, and recapitulation that
is essential to sonata-form.

                   VI. MOZART AND THE CLASSIC STYLE.

The slow movements of the symphonies and string quartets of Mozart, who
represents the culmination of the classic type in music, are thoroughly
characteristic of the ideals of the classical period. Unlike the rustic
Haydn, Mozart was accustomed from his childhood to the atmosphere of
courts and lived in the favor of princes. His music is never brusque,
nor does it have the homely wit and sentiment of Haydn--it does
not smack of the soil--but it possesses a certain ideal beauty and
elegance, a certain finesse and finely pointed wit that were beyond
Haydn's powers. Yet these ideally beautiful compositions of Mozart
are absolutely spontaneous. We are never admitted into his work-shop;
we never trace a sign of his labor; his music seems to have sprung
full born from his brain. He is the type of the consummate artist
who deals with the language of music as easily as an ordinary mortal
deals with his native tongue. He was not a philosopher like Bach, nor
a great man like Beethoven. We find no evidences of his having been,
outside his music, particularly distinguished from his fellows, for his
improvidence and fondness for amusement are matters of record. When we
think of Beethoven's music we think of Beethoven; Mozart and his art
are distinct and separate.[33]

At this point the question naturally arises: "Just what do we mean
by classic beauty?" In a general way a book, a picture or a piece of
music becomes a "classic" when it is universally accepted as a model
of its kind. In this sense Grey's "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" is a
classic; so are Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the Sistine Madonna, and
the Apollo Belvedere. The same term is applied to Beethoven's Fifth
Symphony, and to Schumann's "Träumerei." These works of art represent
many varieties of mood, of style, and of structure, and the application
to them all of the term "classic" is a very broad usage. "Classic,"
as opposed to "Romantic," in music, means something quite different
and much more definite. It refers to purity of outline and simplicity
of harmony; to pure beauty of sound as opposed to luxuriance or the
poignancy produced by dissonances; to clear and translucent colors
and definite lines curved in beauty, rather than to picturesqueness.
Classical music tells its story clearly and definitely and does not
depend on suggestion, as does, for example, the romantic music of

Our illustrations from Haydn have revealed how this classic spirit
gradually approached its culmination. In his Andante with Variations
there is something of the classic spirit, though the occasional diffuse
ornamentation of the trio theme mars the purity of the composition.
In the movement from the "Surprise" Symphony there is too much that
is rustic to admit of its being considered altogether classic. But a
fine example of the classic type is afforded by the first movement of
Mozart's G-minor Symphony, discussed in Chapter IX. The distinction
may be made still more clear by reference to Figure XLIV, containing
(a) the opening phrases of the Finale of Tschaikowsky's "Pathétique"
Symphony, and (b) a short quotation from Schumann's Novelette, op. 21,
No. 1.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                             FIGURE XLIV.

The poignancy of the passage from Tschaikowsky is remarkable, and the
opening chord, modulating at once to another key than the tonic,
produces a feeling of unrest which is further intensified, as the
piece proceeds, by harsh dissonances. The quotation from Schumann's
Novelette is notable for its brusqueness, and for the roughness of
its dissonances. Effects like these would not have been tolerated in
Mozart's time, and illustrate the tendency of music to become more
personal and to seek to express a wider range of human feeling. A
comparison of these two quotations with the opening of the andante by
Mozart will reveal how far apart are the ideals of classic and romantic

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 16.

        _Mozart: Andante from String Quartet_[34] _in C-major,
                         dedicated to Haydn._

In Chapter IX reference has been made to the influence of Haydn and
Mozart on each other. Mozart undoubtedly profited by Haydn's labors in
the quartet form, and Haydn, in turn, shows in his latest quartets that
he had learned something from his younger contemporary. Ever since this
form came into being it has been a favorite one with composers, for
in it they are able to express musical ideas in all their purity and
divested of extraneous influences. For this reason the quartet became
the medium for their most advanced ideas. Both Mozart and Beethoven
wrote quartets that were far in advance of their time, and that were
subjected to harsh criticism by their contemporaries. The introduction
to the quartet from which this andante is taken is a case in point.
The harmonies, within the space of a few measures, wander far from the
home key, and commit what were then unpardonable sins of cacophony.
A brief quotation from the beginning of this introduction is shown
in Figure XLV. The harsh dissonances between the A-flat in the first
measure of the viola part and the succeeding A-natural in the first
violin part should be noted.

                             [Music: score]

                             [Music: score]

                              FIGURE XLV.

The vague harmonies of this introduction serve as an admirable foil to
the bright opening of the first movement. The æsthetic purpose they
serve is one of which Beethoven also made constant use when he desired
to enhance the charm of a passage by vivid contrast of color. The
opening theme of the movement (shown at (b) in Figure XLV) will be seen
to be foreshadowed in the introduction (Figure XLV (a); viola part,
measure 3, first violin part, measures 4-5). From the point of view of
both harmony and thematic development this introduction is therefore
extremely modern.

                            [Music: score]
                             FIGURE XLVI.

Of this andante by Mozart we can say unreservedly that it is a perfect
specimen of pure classic beauty. Its translucent harmonies, its
exquisite curve of melody, its clear outlines, all make it a model of
its kind. The chief theme, extending to measure 12 (see Figure XLVI),
should be compared with those of Handel, Haydn and Mozart shown in
previous chapters. This comparison will reveal an important element
in the present theme, namely, the element of organization. In our
earliest musical examples quoted in the first two chapters there was a
conspicuous lack of variety. "Three Blind Mice" contented itself with
two motives, which were repeated over and over again. "Barbara Allen"
was made up of one rhythmic figure, constantly reiterated, and even in
the themes of Philip Emanuel Bach and Haydn there were many rhythmic
repetitions. In the Haydn quartet movement there were but two motives,
and while they were used with the greatest skill, the theme itself was
entirely constructed from them. In Mozart's theme, on the contrary,
there is hardly a single repetition of rhythm. An examination of the
melody will reveal how great a variety is imparted to it by the many
different rhythmic figures. Yet there is no sense of vagueness about
it; it holds together firmly. This quality distinguishes all highly
organized melodies, and is never found in folk-music. The same element
may be observed in a developed language in which words have come to be
flexible in their meaning, and more or less complicated sentences are
possible. In this theme one does not get the sense of what the composer
is trying to say until the melody ends; in simple themes, made up by
repeating the same motive, one can foresee the end long before it is
reached. Themes like this beautiful one of Mozart are possible only
after art has become well developed, and after people in general have
become sufficiently familiar with the phraseology of music to be able
to follow complicated musical sentences.

A further charm is added to this movement by the free and flowing
counterpoint of the several parts. This is an essential element in the
string quartet, since without it, there being little variety in the
tone of the four instruments, monotony would result.

                    VII. FORM OF MOZART'S ANDANTE.

Here, as in the Haydn slow movement, we find another example of
sectional form. It may be tabulated as follows:


                 I.                   |              II.
  Modulating from tonic to dominant   |   Modulating from dominant back to
and containing theme I, episode theme | tonic with the same succession of
(13) and theme II (26), 1-44.         | themes. Coda (102), 54-114.

The sub-divisions of the above should be carefully noted (as indicated
by the entrance of the different themes). These sub-divisions break
the piece up into smaller sections, each distinct from the others. A
particularly interesting and beautiful effect is produced in the coda
(measures 103-5) by the augmentation of the phrase from measures 1-2,
which is reproduced in longer notes against a familiar counterpoint.[35]


_C. H. H. Parry: "The Evolution of the Art of Music," Chapters XI and
XII. W. H. Hadow: "Sonata Form," Chapter X. D. G. Mason: "Beethoven and
His Forerunners," Chapters V and VI._


[31] The instruments employed in the string quartet are two violins
(first and second) viola, and violoncello.

[32] Published in miniature score, Payne edition, price 20 cents. This
quartet also appears among Haydn's works in the form of a sonata for
violin and piano.

[33] See Mason's "Beethoven and his Forerunners," pages 232-240.

[34] Published in miniature score, Payne edition, price 20 cents.

[35] A reference to the full score of this movement will reveal certain
crossings of the lower instruments over the upper by which interesting
effects of tone color are produced.

                              CHAPTER XI.



The reader who has attentively followed the story of the long and
gradual development of music from the folk-song and peasant dance up
to the point we have now reached, cannot but have been impressed by
the character of preparation for some supreme achievement of which
this development seems to partake throughout. All the laborious steps
lead on toward a goal which even in the splendid work of Haydn and
Mozart is not quite reached. Haydn crystallizes the form and style of
instrumental music; Mozart adds his peculiar aristocratic grace of
manner and classical beauty of substance, yet even in his work there
remains a certain coldness and conventionality--the body of the art is
perfect, but the spiritual passion of modern music as we know it is
still lacking. Even during the life-times of these great musicians,
however, the supreme genius who was to bring to its perfect flowering
the plant they had so carefully tended was preparing for his work. In
1791, when Mozart died, and when Haydn made his first journey to London
to produce his Salomon symphonies, Ludwig van Beethoven, born in 1770,
was just entering on his young manhood.

In order to understand the character and work of Beethoven, it is
necessary constantly to bear in mind the two-sided truth that
the greatest men are those who combine the utmost receptivity and
teachableness with a perfect self-dependence and fearless initiative.
Beethoven, who is equally remarkable for both, could never have done
what he did had he lacked either. Had he been merely "original"
he could not have securely founded himself on the work of his
predecessors, and, therefore, would probably not have surpassed them.
Had he been content always to imitate, had he never ventured beyond
what was sanctioned by tradition, he would never have inaugurated a
new epoch in music. It becomes, therefore, a matter of great interest
to trace these opposed but complementary traits of docility and
unconventionality, first in his character, and secondly in his music.

In what has been written of Beethoven, his eccentricities have been
so dwelt upon that his capacity for laborious study has hardly been
appreciated. It is true that he was a restive pupil. He was taught
for a while by Haydn, but soon quarreled with him. His teacher in
counterpoint, the learned pedagogue Albrechtsberger, said of him: "He
will never do anything according to rule; he has learnt nothing."
But Beethoven was essentially self-taught; and in his efforts, under
his own guidance, to master all the technical difficulties of his
art, he showed the most inexhaustible patience and subjected himself
to the most tireless labor. Never did the veriest dolt drudge more
faithfully at the A, B, C of his art than the "divine Beethoven." We
have proof of this in his sketch-books, many of which have been edited
and printed by Nottebohm. In them we see him jotting down his ideas,
often surprisingly trite in the first instance, and then returning,
day after day, to the task of developing them into the perfect themes
of his finished compositions. Nothing could be more salutary to those
who fancy that musical creation is entirely a matter of "inspiration"
than a perusal of these endless pages in which Beethoven slowly and
painfully separates the pure metal from the ore of his thought and
refines it to complete purity.[36]

Beethoven's wonderful certainty of touch, economy of material, and
logical coherence of ideas were doubtless attainable only by this
laborious method of working. He learned, by careful imitation, all
that the models left by his predecessors could teach him before he
ventured to push beyond them. Yet even in his early 'prentice work,
like the first two symphonies and the earlier piano sonatas, in which
the influence of Haydn and Mozart are constantly evident, there is a
vigor of execution, a ruggedness of style, and a depth of feeling, that
are all his own. In other words, his strong originality was already
coloring all that he did; even when he imitated, it was with a subtle

Later, as his powers developed and self-confidence grew, he became
more and more indifferent to tradition, more and more singly bent on
following his own genius wherever it might lead him. A strong dramatic
instinct began to possess him, showing itself in a love for sudden
changes of harmony and rhythm, for unexpected transitions from loud
to soft or from soft to loud, and in other such eccentricities. His
rhythms became more striking, his melodies broader and more various,
his harmonies and modulations so daring and unprecedented that the
conservatives of the day held up their hands in horror. His sense of
musical structure, of that combining of themes in long movements which
is akin to the architect's combination of pillars, arches, windows,
buttresses and colonnades in great buildings, became so powerful and
unerring that he created works of vaster proportions and more subtle
symmetry than had ever been dreamed of before--so great and complex
that they could be followed only by the highly trained ear and mind.

Such were the works of his maturity. Later still, as he became more and
more thrown in upon himself by poverty, pride, the terrible affliction
of deafness, and the failure of his contemporaries to understand him,
he came to live entirely in his own ideal world, and his music became
more and more markedly individual, and in some cases almost perversely
so. His latest works are not thoroughly understood, even to-day, except
after the most patient, exhaustive study.

The customary division of Beethoven's artistic life into three
periods[37] is based on these internal differences observable in his
works. Those of the first period, extending to about 1803, of which the
most important are the piano sonatas up to opus 53, the first three
piano concertos, the string quartets, opus 18, and the first and second
symphonies, show him under the influence of Haydn and Mozart, though
already more poignant, impassioned, and forcible than his models.

In the second period, the period of full and vigorous maturity,
extending from 1803 to 1813, he throws off all restricting traditions,
and stands forth a heroic figure, the like of which music had never
seen, and may never see again. The compositions of this decade, among
which may be specially mentioned the piano sonatas from the "Waldstein"
to opus 90, the fourth and fifth piano concertos, the unique concerto
for violin, the string quartets, opus 59 and opus 74, the overtures
"Coriolanus" and "Egmont," the opera "Fidelio," the great Mass in C,
and above all the six magnificent symphonies from the "Eroica" to the
eighth, are among the supreme achievements of human art. They combine
the utmost variety of form and style with a perfect unity; they are
models of structure for all time; and as to expression, one knows not
what to marvel at most, their rugged virility and intensity of passion,
their deep pathos and tender sentiment, their moods of effervescent
merriment, humor, and whimsical perversity, or their almost superhuman
moments of mystical elevation.

The third period, extending from 1813 to Beethoven's death in 1827, is
as we have said characterized by an almost excessive individuality,
and is difficult to relate to the normal progress of musical art.
Nevertheless it contains some of his greatest works--notably the Ninth
Symphony, the Mass in D, and the final sonatas and quartets. The
detailed study of it falls outside the province of this book.

With this brief and necessarily cursory survey of Beethoven's
achievement in its entirety, we may pass on to the examination of a
single typical work, hoping in the course of it to make clearer to
the student the two main facts about Beethoven on which we have been
trying to insist: his indebtedness to his predecessors in the matters
of general structure and style, and the indomitable originality by
virtue of which all that he does is infused with a novel beauty and
an unparalleled profundity of feeling. We shall choose for our first
example one of the finest compositions of his first period--the
"Pathétique Sonata," for piano, opus 13, taking up in later chapters
some typical examples of his more advanced style.


                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 17.

          _Beethoven: Piano Sonata, Opus 13. First movement._

It will be noted that Beethoven adds to the three traditional sections
of the sonata-form an introduction in slow tempo (of which we saw an
earlier example in Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony) and a brief coda,
based on the main material of the movement, to round out the complete
movement satisfactorily. In his later work both of these additional
sections came often to figure very prominently, the increased
development he gave to them being indeed one of his most important
contributions to sonata-form. We shall see in his Fifth Symphony a fine
example of his treatment of the coda, which raises it to a dignity
equal to that of the other organic sections. The introduction of the
Fourth Symphony extends to thirty-eight measures of slow tempo, that
of the Seventh Symphony to sixty-two measures, with great variety of

The general structure of this movement, which is in extended
sonata-form, is shown in the following tabular view:


  Sections.        |              Themes.                        | Measures.
Slow Introduction  |                                             |    1-10
Exposition (A)     | First theme, C minor                        |   11-27
                   | Transition, based on first theme            |   27-50
   Duality of      | Second theme, E-flat minor                  |   51-88
   Harmony         | Codetta or Conclusion section, E-flat major |  89-134
                   | Consisting of                               |
                   |   Conclusion-theme I                        |  89-112
                   |   Conclusion-theme II                       | 113-120
                   |   Reminiscence of theme I                   | 121-134
Development (B)    | Introduction-motive                         | 135-138
   Plurality of    | Theme I and Introduction-motive treated     | 139-196
    Harmony        |                                             |
Recapitulation (A) | First theme, C minor                        | 197-209
                   | New transition                              | 209-222
   Unity of        | Second theme, F minor                       | 223-254
   Harmony         | Codetta, C minor                            | 255-296
     Coda          |                                             | 297-312
                   | Consisting of                               |
                   |   Introduction motive                       | 297-300
                   |   First theme, reminiscence                 | 301-311

The motive of the introduction, shown in Figure XLVII, is a deeply
expressive bit of melody which at once establishes the mood to which
the sonata owes its name of "Pathetic." How incisive and seizing is
this very first measure! What a different world it takes us into--a
romantic world of personal feeling--from the classic realms of Haydn
and Mozart! The emotion thus suggested at the outset becomes deeper,
too, as we proceed, first with the higher utterance of the same motive
in the second measure, and then with the fragments of it in the third
and fourth, urging us on to a climax on the high A-flat. Finally,
in the fifth and succeeding measures, the pulsating rhythm of the
accompaniment adds a still greater agitation, while the melody climbs
ever higher and higher until it reaches the F of measure 9, after
which it dies away in preparation for the main theme. The intensity of
Beethoven's expression, by which his claim to the title of "romantic"
is most surely indicated, could hardly be better shown than by this
brief introduction of ten measures.

                            [Music: score]
         (_a_) Motive of the Introduction, Pathétique Sonata.

                            [Music: score]
          (_b_) Treatment of this motive in the Development.

                            FIGURE XLVII.

The body of the movement begins energetically, yet sombrely, with the
first theme, in minor key and strongly pronounced rhythm. This merges
quickly in the transition (27-50), which is neither a bit of empty
passage-work as often with Haydn, nor a new melody as with Mozart, but
contains constant references to the main theme (35-37, 39-41, 43-45).
The second theme is both more lyrical in character and more extended
than the first. It is not in the traditional key of the relative major
(see Chapters II and III), but oscillates between E-flat minor and
D-flat, coming into E-flat major (the relative of C-minor) only as it
closes and debouches into the first conclusion theme (89-112). The
closing section or codetta is, however, almost entirely in E-flat, and
is moreover fairly long and important. It consists of two independent
themes and of a reminiscence of the first theme at measures 121-135. A
fine instance of melodic germination is found in the first conclusion
theme, where the gradually rising melody twice builds itself up into
a long phrase of eight measures (93-100, and 105-112) with splendidly
sustained effect. The great variety of rhythm embodied in the codetta
should be especially noticed.

The development begins with a restatement of the poignant
introduction-motive, so managed that it leads into the remote key of
E-minor. Now begins, with the resumption of the allegro tempo, a rather
short but most interesting treatment of the first theme, continued with
an ingenious variant of the introduction-motive (measures 142-143,
148-149: see Figure XLVII (_b_)), followed by the transference of the
fragment of the first theme to the bass, where it is thrice repeated,
amid constant modulation. Then, in the measure following 169, comes
one of those inimitably hushed, mysterious passages so peculiar to
Beethoven, through which, like fountains from a sombre pool, rise
fragments of the first theme. Then, with a rapidly descending passage,
the movement plunges into its recapitulation.

This section the reader will have no difficulty in analyzing for
himself, not failing to note the felicity with which a new transition,
from first to second themes (209-222), is made to germinate from
the last two measures of the main theme. The coda, very brief,
contains nothing but a final announcement of fragments of the
introduction-motive and a single sentence of the first theme.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 18.

         _Beethoven: Piano Sonata, opus 13. Second movement._

This slow movement, a beautiful _adagio cantabile_ in Beethoven's
tranquilly serious mood, takes on the sectional form of the rondo,
consisting of a theme (_A_), an episode (_B_), recurrence of the theme
(_A_), a second episode (_C_), second recurrence of the theme (_A_),
and brief codetta.

                            [Music: score]
                             FIGURE XLVIII.

The theme itself, filling only eight measures, but repeated at a higher
pitch in the second eight measures, is a fine example of the variety
in unity of Beethoven's melodies, secured only after much laborious
sketching. It is shown in Figure XLVIII, and should be examined
carefully. Almost every measure of it presents a new rhythm, so that
there is none of the monotony of those themes which endlessly repeat
a single rhythmic figure. (Compare the tunes of primitive savages
shown in Chapter I.) Yet the whole melody is so deftly composed that
its final impression of unity is perfect. The sequence form which the
harmonies of the last four measures take contributes in no small degree
to this impression of unity.

The theme being in the key of A-flat, both episodes are planned to give
variety of key, the first (B--measures 17-28) being in the relative
minor, F-minor, and the second (C--measures 37-50), beginning in A-flat
minor and modulating, through E-major, back to the home-key.

With the third entrance of the main theme, the accompaniment takes the
more animated rhythm of triplets; and these continue through the brief
but delightful codetta (66-73).

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 19.

        _Beethoven: Piano Sonata, opus 13. Third movement._[38]

This movement is an example of rondo form, being, like the Mozart rondo
we have already studied, based on the alternation of a chief theme,
with sections containing other material. The tabular view on the next
page exhibits the complete structure.

The first theme, sprightly and energetic, and recalling in its melodic
curve the second theme of the first movement, is in strophic form,
with its last half repeated, and the cadence extended for greater
emphasis. The sequences in measures 6-7 and 10-11 should be noted.
The transition also starts off with a sequence, measures 23-26,
corresponding to 19-22. Our old familiar, the device of imitation, also
figures in measures 38 and 39. It is interesting to see Beethoven using
these tools of the polyphonic style (see Chapters I and III) in a work
so far removed from it, and with such ingratiating freshness.


Sections.|                  Themes.                          |Measures.
   A.    | First theme, C-minor                              |    1-18
         | Transition                                        |   19-26
   B.    | Second theme, E-flat major                        |   26-44
         | Closing theme (Codetta)                           |   44-52
         | Transition (on motive from close of second theme) |   52-62
   A.    | First theme, C-minor                              |   62-79
   C.    | Third theme, A-flat                               |  80-108
         | Florid passage work                               | 108-121
   A.    | First theme, C-major                              | 121-135
   B.    | Second theme, C-minor                             | 135-154
         | Closing theme (codetta)                           | 155-171
   A.    | First theme, C-minor                              | 172-183
         | Codetta, extended                                 | 183-203
         | Final suggestions of first theme                  | 203-211

The second theme enters for only eight measures, after which the
gay little imitations are again resorted to, and carry us to the
re-entrance of the main theme.

The episode (C), based on a new theme in the key of A-flat major, for
the sake of the harmonic variety so essential to the middle part of a
movement, is again in sequence form, and in strict polyphonic style,
first with two voices and later with three. In measures 100-103 we have
the theme in the right hand, and set against it in the left a staccato
counterpoint in eighth-notes; in the next four measures this scheme is
just reversed. A rather florid passage, which may be compared to the
cadenza in the rondo from Mozart analyzed in Chapter VI, leads over to
the return of the first theme.

                            [Music: score]
                             FIGURE XLIX.

The appearance of the second theme, on its return, in the key of
C-major instead of E-flat major, imparts organic solidity to the
movement by its insistence on the tonic key, as in similar cases in the
sonata-form (compare again Chapter VI). It is also this time made to
germinate into eight additional measures (see Figure XLIX).

In the final section A (172-end) the little motive of the transitions
does further duty, and a new figure is introduced in measure 194. After
the pause of measures 202-203, we have brief hints, piano, of the main
theme, and then with one of the sudden fortissimos Beethoven loves so
well, a precipitous downward scale ends the movement with vigor.

                             III. SUMMARY.

The "Pathétique Sonata" illustrates most vividly the general truths
about its composer's first period which we have tried to bring out
above. The similarity to the style of Haydn and Mozart is most
striking. Not only do we find the general types of structure developed
by them applied with great fidelity, but there are many details of
style, such as the accompaniment figures and the ornamentation, which
recall them. Yet the strings, so to speak, are all tightened, there
is not a trace of flabbiness or diffuseness, everything irrelevant is
omitted, and the style is at once more varied and more unified than
theirs. The vigor and individuality of all the themes is consummate;
the organic beauty of such themes as that of the Adagio is supreme.
The transitions are notable for their pertinency and derivation from
the thematic materials of the movement--there are no empty scales
and arpeggios. The developments give the impression of inevitability,
of growing from the primary motives as naturally as plants grow
from their seeds. Contrast in rhythm, in melody, in harmony, and in
style (as exemplified in the use of polyphonic style in the finale)
abounds. There is never a dull moment, yet interest is never secured
at the expense of unity. Above all, the virility, profundity, and
earnestness of the expression, surprise us; there is here none of the
detachment, the cool remoteness, of classic art; every note throbs with
personal feeling--music has left the innocence and transparent gaiety
of childhood behind it, and begun to speak with the deeper and more
moving, if less serene, accents of maturity.

In the next chapters we shall trace this progress further.


_E. Dickinson: "The Study of the History of Music," Chapter XXVI. C.
H. H. Parry: "The Evolution of the Art of Music," Chapter XII. D. G.
Mason: "Beethoven and His Forerunners," Chapters VII, VIII, and IX._


[36] See for quotations from the sketch-books, Mason's "Beethoven and
His Forerunners," pp. 304-314. Several of the complete sketch-books,
edited by Nottebohm, are published by Breitkopf and Härtel.

[37] See Von Lenz's "Beethoven et ses trois styles."

[38] In numbering the measures, begin with the first (partial) measure,
even though it is incomplete.

                             CHAPTER XII.


                         I. FORM AND CONTENT.

Our study of the Pathétique Sonata has shown how closely Beethoven
followed the models of Haydn and Mozart, at the same time infusing
into them a new spirit. The first movement of that sonata does not
differ materially in form from the first movement of Mozart's G-minor
Symphony, discussed in Chapter IX, yet Beethoven takes us into a new
world, far removed from that world of pure impersonal beauty in which
Mozart dwelt. Beethoven is the man struggling, fighting, working out
his own individuality, learning through bitter experience; Mozart
is the artist not so much turning his own experience into music, as
creating outside himself imperishable works of an almost superhuman
beauty. In many of Beethoven's works there is this same regularity of
form coupled with freedom of expression. The brusqueness of his style
led his contemporaries to think him an iconoclast; and it was not till
many years after works like the Fifth Symphony were produced that the
public began to understand how orthodox they are.

This free individual expression, now a characteristic of art generally
and evident enough in all phases of human life--this assertion of the
personal point of view--began with Beethoven and has been increasing
ever since his day, until we now have music in which certain phrases
or themes no longer please us as beautiful sounds, but exist for some
ulterior and individual purpose.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                               FIGURE L.

This change was perhaps only a part of that more general transformation
of society by which the composer, who had previously been subject
to the favor of princely patrons, became an independent individual,
living in direct contact with the public at large. Music, thus freed
and given an independent existence, became an expressive art and took
deeper root in human experience. It lost, in this process, something of
that calm, ethereal beauty it had possessed, but it gained greatly in
expressiveness. In Beethoven's hands it became plastic; he enlarged the
range of harmonic combinations far beyond that of Mozart, and created
themes that were of wider application to human feeling. In illustration
of this there will be found in Figure L, (_a_) a quotation from the
slow movement of Beethoven's piano sonata, op. 2, no. 2, and in (_b_)
a quotation from the slow movement of his sonata, op. 10, no. 3. These
should be compared with the theme from Mozart's piano sonata in Figure
XLI. The difference between the themes of Beethoven and that of Mozart
is in their content rather than in their form.

The purpose of Mozart's theme is beauty; the purpose of Beethoven's
themes is expressiveness, the conveyance of deep emotion. They are
lacking in one essential quality of melodic beauty, namely, outline, or
curve.[39] These two quotations are not representative of Beethoven's
lyric genius, for he has left us many fine melodies, but they reveal
a general tendency of his to seek in music an outlet for his deepest
thoughts and feelings, and to sacrifice, if necessary, that beauty of
outline that characterizes Mozart's finest tunes.

                        II. BEETHOVEN'S STYLE.

One peculiarity of Beethoven's music, due to his constant search
after expressiveness rather than mere formal symmetry, is a unity
and conciseness of style notably superior to that of Mozart. Many of
his themes lack the perfect balance of phrases, in exact thesis and
antithesis, found in Mozart's, their structure resulting rather from a
logical development of the leading motive, which, by a favorite device
of his, presses on, in constant repetition and with increasing vigor,
to an emotional climax. The contrast between this method of treating a
theme and the method of Mozart may be seen in Figure LI.

                            [Music: score]
                 (_a_) From Mozart's G-minor Symphony.

                            [Music: score]
              (_b_) From Beethoven's first piano Sonata.

                            [Music: score]
         (_c_) From Beethoven's String Quartet, op. 59, No. 1.

                              FIGURE LI.

In the quotation from Mozart's symphony it will be observed that the
two-measure phrases exactly balance each other, but that the second
phrase is melodically unrelated to the first, and is, furthermore, a
somewhat trivial figure. One feels in listening to the whole theme
that the real significance of it lies in the opening phrase, and this
conclusion is justified by reference to the development section of the
movement, where the composer altogether discards the second phrase. The
style of this theme is, therefore, largely dictated by the convention
of perfect phrase balance. The style of the two Beethoven themes, on
the contrary, is vigorous and terse. The outward symmetry is dictated
by the inner sense.

In the sonata theme Beethoven presses home his idea with greater
and greater intensity until the climax is reached, after which the
tension is gradually abated; in the theme from the string quartet an
almost identical method is pursued. For a further illustration of the
terseness of Beethoven's style reference may be made to the development
sections of this sonata and string quartet, where most interesting
use is made of the short motives from which these themes are derived.
These methods of writing give evidence of the fine economy Beethoven
continually displays. There is, in his music, nothing redundant--no
unnecessary word--and it is this quality of style that produces such an
effect of life and vigor.

Beethoven carries out these methods in whole movements, and even in
complete symphonies. We have already seen how, in the Pathétique
Sonata, a theme in the finale is derived from one in the first
movement, but a much more interesting example of the process[40] may be
found in the Fifth Symphony.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 20.

        _Beethoven: The Fifth Symphony._[41] _First movement._

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]
                        (_d_) From the Scherzo.

                              FIGURE LII.

In Figure LII will be found quotations from the three themes of the
first movement of the Fifth Symphony, and from the secondary theme of
the scherzo.

It will be observed that the first motive in theme I--consisting of
three short notes followed by a long one--is the germ from which both
the conclusion theme and scherzo theme spring, and that the same motive
serves as the bass to the second theme. This motive, in fact, dominates
the entire first movement, the extraordinary vitality of which is
largely due to the incisive quality of the motive itself and to the
occasional thunderous proclamations of it by the entire orchestra.
Here we have the virility of Beethoven's style admirably illustrated;
no time is given to platitudes, no single measure wanders away from
the chief issues. At times this first motive is extended into a
succession of loud chords from the full orchestra; again the prevailing
two-measure rhythm is interrupted by a measure of silence that shifts
the accents dramatically from one place to another, dislocating the
whole passage.[42] This intensity of utterance--each phrase hammered
home--gives to the whole work a quite unique place among symphonies.

The complete movement may be tabulated as follows:

                            FIFTH SYMPHONY.

     Sections.    |                 Themes.                           |Measures.
  Introduction.   | On motive from theme I                            |     1-5
  Exposition (A)  | First theme, C-minor                              |    6-56
                  | Transition consisting of a chord of modulation    |      58
    Duality of    | Introduction to theme II based on original motive |   59-62
    Harmony       | Second theme in E-flat major                      |   63-95
                  | Codetta or Conclusion-section consisting of       |
                  |   Conclusion-theme                                |  95-119
                  |   Reminiscence of theme I                         | 110-124
  Development (B) | Motive from theme I treated                       | 125-179
                  | Introduction to theme II lengthened and treated   |
                  |      in sequence (G-minor and C-minor)            | 179-195
    Plurality of  | Half note phrase pass the same extended into      |
    Harmony       |     long passage finally losing its contour and   |
                  |     retaining only its rhythm                     | 195-240
  Recapitulation  | Further treatment of theme I                      | 240-252
   (A)            | First theme, C-minor                              | 253-300
                  | Transition leading to C-major                     |     302
    Unity of      | Introduction to theme II                          | 303-306
    Harmony       | Second theme in C-major                           | 307-346
                  | Conclusion-theme C-major                         | 346-374
      Coda        | Theme I treated                                   | 374-397
                  | Introduction to theme II with new counterpoint    | 398-406
                  | Motive from the same in diminution (basses)       | 406-415
                  | Motive from theme II treated                      | 416-469
                  | Motive from theme I treated                       | 469-502

The foregoing table should be compared with those in Chapters VIII and
IX in order to get a comprehensive view of the gradual development
of sonata-form. It will be seen that Beethoven destroys nothing, but
that the changes he makes in the older models are changes such as
the nature of his themes and the length of the movement demand. The
chief difference in themes is that the first theme is less lyric than
those of Mozart, and more suited to development; a better contrast
between themes I and II is thereby provided. The coda is extended far
beyond that of the old model, and becomes an important part of the
structure--important, because at this stage of the development of
sonata form (audiences having become accustomed to listening to long
pieces of pure music) the repetition of the whole first section (A) is
a little too obvious, and the introduction of a dramatic coda after the
recapitulation section provides fresh interest at the point where it is
most needed.

Sir Hubert Parry[43] writes of Beethoven's innovations in this phase
of musical development as follows: "It was his good fortune that the
sonata-form had been so perfectly organized and that the musical
public had been made so perfectly familiar with it, that they were
ready to follow every suggestion and indication of the principle of
form; and even to grasp what he aimed at when he purposely presumed on
their familiarity with it to build fresh subtleties and new devices
upon the well known lines; and even to emphasize the points by making
progressions in directions which seemed to ignore them."

But most important of all is the close reasoning (if we may use the
term) displayed throughout this movement. There is hardly a single note
in it that has not some direct bearing on the subject matter, the two
chords in the transitions being the only portions not derived from
the themes proper. With all these elements of strength, and the added
cohesion resulting from the similarity of themes, this movement stands
as a model of what a symphonic first movement should be.


                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                             FIGURE LIII.

We have referred in Chapter VIII to that process of development whereby
a theme becomes gradually changed, losing its physiognomy little by
little until it is only a shadow of its former self. In the quotation
in Figure LIII this process might almost be said to be the opposite
of development, since the theme is gradually denuded of its melodic
curve, until nothing but its rhythm remains; but the effect, at least,
is to produce something quite new out of a germinal motive, and to
relieve, for a moment, that insistence on melody that characterizes
the first section. The device is a favorite one with Beethoven, and in
this movement he makes interesting use of it. The passage begins at
measure 195 ((_a_) in the figure) with the phrase used to introduce
the second theme, as if it intended going on with the theme as before,
but instead there enters a long passage of half-notes, (_b_), in which
the _outline_ of the half-note phrase is preserved for a while, after
which the rhythm only is retained, and the passage becomes a series of
chords floating mysteriously, and dimly outlined as in a cloud ((_c_)
in the figure). The original motive crashes through (measure 228) for
a moment, the soft chords sound again, and then the whole orchestra
rushes rapidly to the end of the section.

The effect of this cessation of the rapid movement that has thus far
animated the music is very dramatic, and the startling interruption of
its peaceful flow by the loud chords at measures 228-231--as if they
were impatient to begin the turmoil again--gives the whole passage a
peculiarly vivid effect. This device is analogous to that employed in
the novel when the author prepares his readers, by a page or two of
peaceful narrative, for his most dramatic episode. The significance of
this passage is, of course, due to its connection with the introductory
phrase from which it sprang, but it should be noted that the whole
passage is a re-creation from the original motive and not a restatement
of it in another key. And its position in the movement is exactly at
the point where some relief is needed from what might otherwise be a
too great insistence on the first theme, and just before the beginning
of the recapitulation, where the first theme is to appear in its
original form. It will be found that such passages are usually placed
in this position.

The themes in Beethoven's finest works are not only hammered out, as
it were, from the rough metal, but we may say of them--as we cannot
say of those of Haydn's and Mozart's--that they are pregnant with
possibilities which are not fully realized until the composition is
finished. With Haydn and Mozart the development section is usually
a string of different versions of the original theme--as is the
latter's G-minor symphony, first and last movements. With Beethoven the
development section reveals what was latent in the original theme, but
what had not been before realized. In the development section of the
Fifth Symphony he not only convinces us by his logic, but overpowers us
by the sweep of his eloquence.


It is impossible to express in words the significance of this music,
but it runs almost the complete gamut of human feeling. The opening
theme is so incisive and has such a tremendous energy that it takes
us into a new world. If we compare it with Mozart's first movement
themes we realize at once that it deals with things that music had
never attempted to express before. The second theme is not by any
means a fine melody, being made up of a constantly reiterated phrase,
but it has an appealing beauty of its own that we would not exchange
for perfection. Occasionally the terrible asserts itself, as in those
ominous chords with empty fifths in the coda (measures 481-482), while
the whole movement seems to have been struck off at white heat.

That this was not the case, however, but that on the contrary even the
first theme itself took its present shape only after a laborious effort
of the composer's mind, we know from the evidence of his sketch-book.
The theme first appears there in the following form.

                            [Music: score]
                              FIGURE LIV.

This commonplace theme evidently lay generating in Beethoven's mind for
a long period. Various sketches on it appear from time to time, and it
was only after much thought that it finally emerged in its permanent
form. This was always his method of composition. Unlike Mozart, who
wrote music with the utmost fluency and rapidity, Beethoven rewrote his
themes many times before they satisfied him, and the process caused
him actual mental agony. With him composing was a struggle, a fight;
he stamped, and sang, and shouted over the composition of some of his
larger works, and finally emerged from his solitude exhausted.

There is no doubt but that Beethoven was affected by the prevailing
social unrest of his time--by the revolutionary ideas that were then
stirring. Although we cannot attempt to translate into words the
significance of the fifth symphony, there is no mistaking its language
as that of independence and freedom from conventional shackles.
"Writing in a period of revolution," says Mr. Hadow,[44] "himself an
ardent revolutionary, he broke in upon the politeness of the Austrian
court with an eloquence as tempestuous as that of Mirabeau or Danton."
So that, looking at his music as a whole, we are not only struck by
its significance, but by the close relation in which it stands to the
life of Beethoven's period. Never before had music been so untrammeled,
so free. The medium itself--harmony, melody, rhythm--had become more
plastic, and the old incubus of tradition had been thrown off. Not only
that, but the various elements in composition were fused for the first
time in Beethoven's music. Polyphony takes its place as a means and
not an end; pure melody--even folk-melody--becomes a part of the larger
scheme in which its beauty is set off against contrasting elements--and
is thereby enhanced; rhythm becomes a means of expression in itself,
and not merely a vehicle; harmony is made an important part of the
general design, and its latent possibilities as a means of expression
are realized.

All these threads were gathered together by Beethoven, and woven into
the complex fabric of his music. Great men are usually born at just the
right moment, and Beethoven was no exception to the rule; for he found
the art at just the point where a master spirit was needed to take its
various elements and fuse them. Under his hands all the inessential
parts dropped away, and the essentials were placed in such relation to
each other that a completely organic work of art resulted.


_"Oxford History" Vol. III: Chapters X and XI. Grove's "Beethoven and
His Nine Symphonies." Grove's "Dictionary of Music and Musicians:"
articles "Beethoven," "Symphony," and "Form." Mason's "Beethoven and
His Forerunners," Chapters VII, VIII, and IX._


[39] An examination of any one of the best folk-songs quoted in
Chapter II, or the melodies of Bach, Handel, Haydn or Mozart quoted in
succeeding chapters, will show how important an element of melody is
this curve or outline.

[40] The themes in the minuet and finale of Haydn's "Emperor" quartet
have a slight similarity of contour.

[41] Published for piano, two or four hands, by Peters, Leipzig. For
convenience of reference, number all measures and parts of measures

[42] The presence of measure 389--which is silent--has been a subject
of discussion among musicians: it is sometimes omitted in performance.

[43] "Evolution of the Art of Music," Chapter XII.

[44] "Oxford History of Music."

                             CHAPTER XIII.



The slow movements of the sonatas and symphonies of Haydn and Mozart
were essentially lyric pieces in which the composer relied for his
effect on the beauty of his melodies. These melodies, usually two in
number, were varied by being presented in different keys and by being
ornamented with passing-notes, scale passages, trills, etc. Each
section was clearly separated from the others by cadence chords, so
that the total effect was of a series of separate divisions, each, as
it were, independent and complete in itself. There are, of course,
exceptions to this method of procedure, particularly in the string
quartets of Haydn and Mozart, which are more highly developed than is
usual in their piano sonatas, but as a general rule this was their way
of treating slow movements.

This lyric, sectional form of slow movement served as a foil to the
more involved first movement. The lovely, serene melodies were not
disturbed by passion, nor sacrificed for picturesque effect of any
kind. In the string quartets and symphonies they were enlivened by a
certain amount of polyphony (see Chapter X), and in the piano sonatas
they occasionally departed from the simple regular form, but they
seldom dealt with tragedy and seldom presented any evidence of that
idiosyncrasy and intense individuality that marks the slow movement of
later times.


The early sonatas and symphonies of Beethoven are largely constructed
on the old model. The first piano sonata, referred to in Chapter XII,
has a sectional slow movement that might almost have been written by
Mozart. The slow movement of the first symphony is simplicity itself,
both in form and content; and even the adagio of the Pathétique Sonata
(see Chapter XI) is a straightforward sectional piece with a lyric
melody presented several times, with varying accompaniment, and with
the usual contrasting middle section.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                              FIGURE LV.

In Figure LV is shown the first theme of the andante of the first
symphony, (_a_) themes from the larghetto of the second symphony,
(_b_) and (_e_) and portions of the middle section of the same (_c_),
(_d_), (_f_), and (_g_). Each of these themes is distinctly strophic;
each has perfect phrase balance, charm of contour or outline, and
simplicity of harmonization. Not so highly organized as the theme from
the Pathétique Sonata (see Chapter XI, Figure XLVII) they resemble the
themes of the older masters, but bear, nevertheless, some evidence
of the individuality that so fully characterizes Beethoven's later
music. But in the treatment of the theme from the second symphony that
individuality is clearly manifested. Instead of a mere restatement
varied by new harmonization or by elaboration of the theme itself,
there is a free play of fancy, one or two short motives from the
first theme being tossed about in the orchestra from one instrument to
another in delightful by-play.

All sorts of devices are resorted to to keep the interest of the
listener at its height. The chief motive (Figure LV, (_b_)) passes from
calm serenity to playfulness, and again to splendid sonorous grandeur;
a phrase from this same motive becomes the subject of an almost crabbed
discussion (Figure LV, (_d_)), while the charming secondary theme
(Figure LV, (_e_)), whose whimsical gayety animates the early part of
the movement, is given a plaintive quality by a change to minor (Figure
LV, (_f_)) and the touching contrapuntal phrases that are set against
it. A little later a single phrase from the same theme becomes the
subject of a bit of vigorous by-play between the different instruments
(Figure LV, (_g_)).

Thus the slow movement, even in Beethoven's early works, becomes
vivified by his intense individuality. In his more mature compositions
in this form the whole body of the music pulsates with life--no single
part stagnates.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 21.

            _Beethoven: The Fifth Symphony, Slow movement._

We have already pointed out in Chapter X that the slow movement is
usually written in some sectional form. Beethoven followed the old
models in this respect in the majority of his slow movements, but
his enrichment of the content of the music and his skill in avoiding
conventional endings and other platitudes makes his pieces less rigid
in effect than those of Haydn and Mozart. He was particularly fond of
leaving his listeners until the last moment in doubt of the ultimate
conclusion of a passage, leading them away from his point and coming
back to it by an unexpected modulation or turn of phrase; he frequently
ends the section of a movement with one or two brusque chords suddenly
inserted after a passage full of sentiment. In short, his sectional
movements are less obvious in design, and more flowing and continuous,
than was the custom before his day.

The andante of the Fifth Symphony is in free variation form, the
divisions--unlike those in the variations referred to in Chapter
VII--not being clearly marked nor regular in form. The theme has
two parts, but Beethoven skillfully avoids that prolixity sometimes
evident in Haydn's "Andante with Variations;" nor does he lengthen
his two themes to such an extent as to make them a little doubtful as
proper subjects for variation treatment, as did Haydn. Furthermore,
although the second part of Beethoven's theme is a better subject
than Haydn's "Trio" theme, being more terse and more characteristic,
Beethoven presents it in nearly its original form each time it appears,
making the first and more important subject serve as the basis of his
variations. Such changes as do occur in the second theme will be noted
later. The complete movement may be tabulated as follows:


Sections.|                      Themes.                       |Measures.
    1.   | Theme I in A-flat major                            |    1-23
         | Theme II in A-flat and C-major                     |   23-50
    2.   | First variation of theme I, A-flat major           |   50-72
         | Second part of theme I as before but with          |
         |   more elaborate accompaniment                     |   72-99
    3.   | Second variation of theme I, A-flat major          |
         |   (theme given out three times: cellos,            |  99-124
         |   violins and basses)                              |
         | Episode, founded on initial motive from theme I    | 124-148
         | Theme II in C-major (first two phrases lengthened) | 148-158
         | Episode, founded on motive from theme I            | 158-167
         | Theme I in A-flat minor                            | 167-177
         | Transition passage leading to return of theme I    | 177-186
    4.   | Theme I, A-flat major                              | 186-206
    5.   | Coda                                               | 206-248

The foregoing table may be compared with that of the Haydn variations
in Chapter VII. While the general scheme is the same--for the two
themes are in each case presented several times--the Beethoven
variations are much more concise, and at the same time much more fully
expressive and illustrative of the original theme. Haydn's variations
are naïve; Beethoven's are conscious. Beethoven presents his themes
from widely different points of view; Haydn presents charmingly
elaborate versions of the same melodies. "Composers did not for a
long while," says Parry,[46] "find out the device of making the same
tune or 'theme' appear in different lights, so as to make studies of
different aspects of the same story under changing conditions, as in
Robert Browning's _Ring and the Book_."

These entirely distinct presentations of the original idea give to this
movement an especial charm, placing it far above any of Haydn's or
Mozart's variations.


The peculiar charm of this andante lies not so much in its melodies,
beautiful as they are, as in the individuality of their treatment. The
first version of the theme as it appears in Beethoven's sketch-book is
shown in Figure LVI (_a_), and at (_b_) is given the first part of the
completed theme.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                             FIGURE LVI.

It will be observed that the original idea was somewhat mechanical in
its rhythm, and lacked that variety imparted to the completed theme
by the tied note at the beginning of measure 3 and at the middle of
measure 5. Beethoven's original intention must have been quite at
variance in other ways with what he finally evolved, for he marks his
first sketch, "Andante quasi Minuetto," _i. e._ "in the style of the
minuet," and of this there is left no evidence whatever.

Each variation of this theme is quite distinct from the original,
particularly in its mood. While the original theme has a calm and even
pensive beauty, full of sentiment, the two variations of it are less
serious and, at times, verge on the humorous and playful (as at measure
108), or on the grotesque (as at measure 115). But in the episodes
that occur between the variations--in the transitions or links between
the different parts--Beethoven's fancy has fullest play. He ranges all
the way from comedy to tragedy, from delicate gaiety to lumbering,
Brobdingnagian heaviness. Simple raillery seizes him when, at measure
160, he allows the violin to take up the familiar motive and toss it
to the basses and take it back again, or when he amuses himself with
weaving thirds up and down (134), crossing and recrossing, spinning out
the little three-note motive into a fine web, which is finally torn
apart as the whole orchestra thunders out the secondary theme (148).

These two passages (portions of which are shown in Figure LVII) in
their freedom from restraint and their expression of the composer's
idiosyncrasies, are quite beyond what had ever been attempted before.
We see working here a mind full of resource and capable of sounding
the greatest depths of the subject.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                             FIGURE LVII.

And this highly imaginative method of treating the transitions or
connecting passages is one of the fundamental differences between the
variations of Haydn and Mozart and those of Beethoven "_A priori_,"[47]
says Mr. Hadow, "it would be easy to conjecture that the variation form
is unsatisfactory. It affords little scope for structural organization,
little for episode or adventure, it seems to have no higher aim than
that of telling the same story in the largest possible number of
different words. Indeed, composers before Beethoven are often in
evident straits to maintain its interest." An examination of any set
of variations by an inferior composer will reveal just the defects
Mr. Hadow refers to. But Beethoven not only tells the story in quite
different words, but finds opportunity for all sorts of interesting
episodes and adventures, so that the structural weakness of the form
is quite lost sight of. With him the connecting passages skillfully
avoid too great stress on pure melody--with which the listeners would
otherwise be surfeited--and, at the same time, they never degenerate
into unmeaning passages of empty chords and scales such as often
occurred in the music of Haydn and Mozart.

                        IV. THE HARMONIC PLAN.

The recurrence in the same key of the theme in the variation form
gives to it a certain monotony of harmonization unless the episodes
are treated with great harmonic freedom. As was pointed out in Chapter
II, harmony sometimes becomes an important element of structure,
particularly in the rondo and variation forms, and in Haydn's and
Mozart's variations the harmonic plan is not sufficiently varied to
provide this much needed contrast. Beethoven, however, always much more
free in the use of modulation than his predecessors, imparts to these
variations almost at the outset great variety of key, and in all his
episodes ranges freely about, unhampered by limitations. In measure
28, for example, he suddenly starts towards the key of B-flat minor,
only to emerge a moment later in C-major. The passage, beginning at
measure 39, not only provides that relief from too great insistence
on melody which we have already referred to as characteristic of his
episodes, but its harmonies are purposely vague, leaving us in doubt
until the last moment as to their ultimate conclusion. An interesting
and beautiful effect is again produced, at measures 167-177, by the
changes of key, while the scale passages that follow introduce further
harmonic variety. At measure 206 begins a passage that seems to intend
the key of D-flat, but again our expectations are not realized. So that
the total impression we receive from the harmony of this movement is
of a more complete unity and variety than is produced by the themes

It must also be noted in general that this freedom of harmony is one of
the signs of advancement in the art of music, and that at the present
time the combination of chords is much less restricted than was the
case in Beethoven's day. And this steady advance has been as steadily
opposed by theorists. When we remember that Monteverde (1567-1643) was
bitterly criticised for introducing in a chord the unprepared dominant
seventh, making thereby a dissonance almost as familiar to modern ears
as is the simple major triad--we can easily realize how difficult it
was for people in Beethoven's time to understand his far-reaching
modulations. The steady progress is further illustrated by Wagner's
music-dramas, which were considered when they first appeared as almost
cacophonous in their harmonization, but which now seem perfectly simple
and normal.


A piece of music like this is a human document. It embraces so many
phases of human feeling, and it places them all, as it were, in
such proper focus that we feel in listening to it as though we had
come in contact with elemental human experience. This music is not
unapproachably grand; we hear in it echoes of our own strivings, hopes,
and despairs. And it is this sense of proportion, this wideness of
vision, that makes Beethoven's music so universal. For in the last
analysis the effect of any work of art depends on the artist's sense
of values; a fine situation in a novel is all the finer for being set
against a proper background; a tragedy must have moments of relief;
beauty alone, whether in a painting or a piece of music, soon palls
upon us; in the greatest works of art this sense of values--this
feeling for proportion--is always present to save the situation
(whatever it may be) from the deadly sin of being uninteresting.

Beethoven continually gives evidence of his mastery over this important
element in composition. The beauty of his melodies never palls. Before
that point is reached there is some sudden change of feeling, some
unexpected turn of melody or modulation, some brusque expression that
shocks us out of our dream. He is particularly fond of the latter
device, and frequently lulls us into a fancied quiet only to awaken
us abruptly when we least expect it. With him everything has its
proportionate value, so that we get a clearly defined impression of
the whole work, just as in a fine novel the values are so carefully
preserved that we feel the locality of every incident, and come to
know the characters as we know our own friends.

One who is thoroughly familiar with the andante of the Fifth Symphony
feels this quality as predominant. We are not enraptured by the theme
itself, as we are by that of Mozart's andante from the string quartet
(referred to in Chapter X), but we feel the charm of incident and
by-play, we are just as much interested in the connecting passages as
we are in any other part of the piece; and we think of it all as we
do of a finely written play, where one incident hangs on another, and
nothing happens that does not bear on the plot.

Thus, judging music from the standpoint of universal human feeling,
Beethoven reaches the highest point in its development. No other
composer, before or since, has equalled him in this particular, and the
more we study him the more we find in him. Repeated hearings do not
dim the luster of his genius, nor have the great composers who have
followed him had as broad a survey of human life as he possessed.


_Hadow: "Oxford History," Vol. V. Parry: "Studies of Great Composers."
Mason: "Beethoven and His Forerunners," Chapters VII, VIII, and IX._


[45] Number the measures and parts of measures consecutively from
beginning to end--making 248 measures in all.

[46] "Oxford History," Vol. III, p. 85.

[47] "Oxford History of Music," Vol. V, p. 272.

                             CHAPTER XIV.


                         I. BEETHOVEN'S HUMOR.

One of Beethoven's most prominent characteristics, without a special
consideration of which no account of him would be at all complete, was
his humor. In the three foregoing chapters we have had passing glimpses
of it: we have noted his distaste for the obvious, the trite, the
conventional, and his fondness for breaking in on the tranquillity of
his audience, sometimes in danger of lapsing into inattentive dullness,
with all manner of shocks and surprises--clashing chords in the midst
of soft passages, unexpected modulations to distant keys, piquant
interruptions of rhythm, long holds, sudden spasms of wild speed.
All such tricks were dear to him as means of avoiding the monotony
which is the one unpardonable sin of an artist, and of attaining
constant novelty and a kaleidoscopic diversity of effect. None of his
predecessors, and perhaps none of his successors, carried to such
lengths as he did this peculiar kind of musical humor. It is one of the
most essentially "Beethovenish" of all his qualities.

The particular form of movement in which his humor attained its freest
scope (though it is hardly ever entirely absent in anything that he
wrote) was the minuet of his earlier, and the scherzo of his later
sonatas and symphonies. The minuet of Haydn and Mozart, which we have
discussed in Chapter VII, though not entirely lacking in the element of
whim and perversity which gives rise to humor, was primarily stately,
formal, and suave. When we listen to a minuet of this old school, our
mind's eye conjures up the picture of a group of eighteenth century
dames and cavaliers, hoop-skirted and bewigged, gravely going through
the set evolutions of their dance with unfailing dignity and courtly
grace. From such a scene a Beethoven scherzo whisks us in a moment
to some merry gathering of peasants, where all is wild conviviality,
boisterous rejoicing, and unrestrained high spirits.

Doubtless this contrast was in some measure due, as Sir George Grove
points out in an interesting passage, to the differences of the social
conditions under which the composers lived. "The musicians of the
eighteenth century," he says, "were too commonly the domestic servants
of archbishops and princes, wore powder and pigtails, and swords, and
court dresses, and gold lace, dined at the servants' table, and could
be discharged at a moment's notice like ordinary lackeys. Being thus
forced to regulate their conduct by etiquette, they could not suddenly
change all their habits when they came to make their music, or give
their thoughts and feelings the free and natural vent which they would
have had, but for the habits engendered by the perpetual curb and
restraint of their social position. But Beethoven had set such social
rules and restrictions at naught. It was his nature, one of the most
characteristic things in him, to be free and unrestrained. Almost with
his first appearance in Vienna he behaved as the equal of everyone he
met, and after he had begun to feel his own way his music is constantly
showing the independence of his mind."[48]

Whatever the causes of this mental independence of Beethoven, whatever
part of it was due to changed social conditions, and what to his purely
personal character, there is ample testimony to its existence in his
biography. The man who could throw a badly cooked stew at the head of
the waiter, who could in a fit of temper publicly shake his fist under
the window of one of his best friends and patrons, who could haughtily
refuse to make the ordinary salutations to his emperor and empress on
a chance meeting, lest he appear servile, and who when he was asked
whether he were of noble blood answered proudly that his nobility lay
in his head and in his heart, was not likely to pay exaggerated respect
to traditions, whether in life or in art. Indeed, perhaps the deepest
secret of his greatness was that while, as his sketch-books signally
prove, he spared no pains or labor to conform his work to those great
natural laws which are above all individual wills, he paid not the
slightest respect to mere rules and conventions, and held especially
in contempt the arbitrary codes of pedants and pedagogues. "It is not
allowed?" he inquired quizzically, when some such dogmatist objected to
a passage he had written: "Very well, then, _I_ allow it."

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                             FIGURE LVIII.

Little wonder is it, then, that such a daring spirit, such a hater of
the timid and the droning, such a passionate lover of the individual,
the striking, the bizarre, and even the grotesque, found a congenial
task in infusing humor and irresponsibility into the classic minuet.
This form, already the lightest part of the sonata and symphony,
already consecrated to the expression of the composer's gayest and most
graceful thoughts, needed only to be made plastic enough to include
fantasy and banter in order to give free scope to Beethoven's most
frolicsome moods. To the task of thus aerating the symphonic minuet he
applied himself very early. Take, as an instance, the minuet of the
very first piano sonata, opus 2, number 1. As a whole it breathes the
polite graciousness of Mozart. The first cadence, especially, recalls
the sweetly formal manner of the old school. (See Figure LVIII (_a_).)
Yet a moment later Beethoven begins to play with this very cadence in
true scherzo fashion, like a cat with a mouse, twice pawing it gently,
so to speak, and then pouncing on it with fury: ((_b_) in the same

In the other two sonatas bearing the same opus number he adopts the
name scherzo--which is an Italian word meaning "joke" or "jest"--and
with it introduces still more of the playful spirit; and as the sonatas
progress we find this tendency growing, until in opus 26 and opus 28 we
have full-fledged, though rather brief, examples of the real Beethoven
scherzo. Let us look at these more carefully.


                   EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 22.[1]

     _Beethoven: Scherzo_[49] _from the Twelfth Sonata, opus 26._

We note first of all that though the time-signature is three-four, as
in the old minuet, the pace is much more rapid--"allegro molto"--so
that a sense of bustle and restless activity is substituted for the
well-bred deliberateness of the minuet. This acceleration of time is
observable in most of the scherzos.

Again, the theme (measures 1-17) is of most energetic character, which
is even further intensified, on its re-entrance in the bass at measure
46, by a rushing accompaniment in eighth-notes.

A characteristic passage precedes this return of the theme. To make the
excitement more welcome when it comes Beethoven has one of his "lulls"
for sixteen measures (31-46), during which the motion dies out and all
seems to stagnate for a moment. This sort of quiescence, in which one
takes breath for a new access of energy, is always consummately managed
by Beethoven, who has made the "lull" a famous device.

The trio calls for no particular comment. It is in binary form, while
the scherzo itself is ternary.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 23.

       _Beethoven: Scherzo from the Fifteenth Sonata, opus 28._

The tempo is again brisk--"allegro vivace."

The theme is exceedingly whimsical: long notes jumping down through
four octaves--first single notes, then thirds, then sixths--followed
each time by a quaint little cadence in which the staccato touch is

The section of contrast after the double-bar (measures 33-48) takes the
form of a sequence, in which the left hand part carries the original

In the return of the theme we find one of those violent dynamic
contrasts so beloved by Beethoven, the theme in measures 49-53 being
sounded in a mild _piano_ and then, without warning, in measures 58-61,
pealed forth _fortissimo_ in large chords.

The trio is again inconspicuous, save for its charming harmonization.

These two scherzos give a good idea of how Beethoven gives play to
his whimsicality in his piano sonatas,[50] but to get the Beethoven
scherzo at its highest power we must go to the symphonies. There he
has all the wondrous potentialities of instrumental coloring to fire
his imagination, and a canvas broad enough to afford scope for endless
ingenuity. It is a fascinating study to trace out how he gradually
advanced in the power to utilize all these possibilities.


The third movement of the first symphony, though called "Minuetto,"
is marked "allegro molto e vivace," and with its spirited theme,
fascinating harmonies, and striking rhythms, is essentially a scherzo.
Perhaps the most interesting single feature of it is the completely
Beethovenish means adopted for getting back to the theme and the home
key of C-major after the section of contrast.

                            [Music: score]
                             FIGURE LIX.

The passage is shown in Figure LIX, and merits careful study. From
D-flat major, a key far distant from C, return is made by imperceptible
degrees. At the same time there is a crescendo of power, until finally
the theme breaks out vigorously in the home-key. It will be noted that
the brief phrases played by the left hand in this passage are made from
the first two notes of the theme itself. Thus closely does Beethoven
stick to his text.

The forcible syncopated rhythms and dissonant harmonies near the end
of this movement also deserve notice. They give it a rugged character
strangely at variance with its title of "minuet."

In the second symphony the name scherzo is adopted, and the phials
of mirth are freely opened. Sudden alternations of loud and soft are
especially conspicuous, as will be seen by referring to the theme,
quoted in (_a_) in Figure LX. Each new measure, here, brings something
unexpected and deliciously piquant.

Violent shifts of accent on to ordinarily unimportant parts of the
measure will be noticed in the twenty-first and twenty-fifth measures,
affording relief from what might without them become monotonous.

A little later, after the reappearance of the theme, Beethoven
indulges in one of those passages which puzzle us and pique our
curiosity (Figure LX (_b_).) Where is he going? we ask ourselves,
what will he do next? But after a few moments' suspense, in which
the music seems to be spinning about in an eddy, so to speak, it
falls into the current again, and all goes cheerfully to the end.

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                              FIGURE LX.

In the trio, the student should note the whimsicality of the long hold
on an F-sharp through six entire measures, _pianissimo_, followed by a
sudden loud chord on A.

Indeed, the prankishness of the entire movement is inexhaustible.

We do not reach the full stature of the Beethoven scherzo, however,
until we get to that of the third or "Eroica" symphony. In this
wonderful movement we have a perfect masterpiece of irresistible,
tireless, kaleidoscopic humor, a great epic of irresponsibility which
must be ranked with such unique expressions of the humorous spirit
in literature as Shakespeare's Falstaff plays, Sterne's "Sentimental
Journey," or Stevenson's "New Arabian Nights." Well may Sir George
Grove say of it, that it is "perhaps the most _Beethovenish_ of all
his compositions," and that in it "the tragedy and comedy of life are
startlingly combined."

It begins with a stealthy, soft succession of staccato chords in the
strings, uniformly pianissimo and yet most insistent in rhythm. Against
this is presently outlined the most piquant little theme by the oboe
((_a_) in Figure LXI); the chords go on again, and then sounds above
them once more this incisive little theme. In the contrast section
after the double-bar comes first more playing with the rapid soft
chords, and then a charming bit of "imitation" of the theme from one
voice to another ((_b_) in Figure LXI). The note D is finally reached
in this way, and then Beethoven, instead of making some trite and
uninteresting modulation back to E-flat, whither he wishes to go in
order to begin his restatement, simply goes on sounding D for ten
measures, _piano_, and then without warning drops down to B-flat,
_pianissimo_, for four measures, and therewith proceeds with his theme
again. The mystery and charm of this return to key are indescribable;
the persistent _pianissimo_ adds much to its extraordinary

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                            [Music: score]

                              FIGURE LXI.

Now, however, with the return of the theme, we at last get a good
ear-filling fortissimo, the whole orchestra taking part in a vigorous
game of musical tag (the theme made into a canon--(_c_) in Figure LXI).
A fine climax is reached in a passage of bold leaping melody in the
strings, in which the accents are dramatically placed on the second
instead of the first beats of the measures, followed and completed by
staccato chords on the wood-wind instruments ((_d_) in Figure LXI).
This is enormously vigorous, and makes a fitting culmination for
this first part of the movement, besides giving an opportunity for
still greater effect later, as we shall see in a moment. After it, a
cadence is soon reached, though not before the strings and wood-wind
instruments have had a brief whimsical dialogue on the subject of the
staccato chords.

So far all is bantering merriment, iridescent color, and energetic high
spirits. But in the trio, one of the most wonderful of all Beethoven's
strokes of genius, the mood changes, and while the quick three-four
measure is still felt underneath, the long notes, and the deep mellow
tones of the horns, give an almost tragic quality to the music. The
theme, given out by three horns alone, with a brief cadence by the
strings, does not reach its full stature until its recurrence near the
end of the trio. In its second phrase the lowest horn reaches, and
holds for two measures, a D-flat which is of almost unearthly solemnity
of effect. This passage repays careful study, so wonderfully does it
use the simplest means to gain the highest beauty. Sir George Grove
well says of it: "If ever horns talked like flesh and blood, they do it

The scherzo, on its return, goes on much as at first. Yet Beethoven
still has one last shot in reserve, as we suggested a moment back.
When he comes to that splendidly proud passage of descending leaps in
the strings (Figure LXI, _d._), instead of repeating it, as he did at
first, in the same rhythm, he suddenly transforms it into even half
notes, which crash downwards like an avalanche, quite irresistible.
(See Figure LXII.) The effect is again indescribable in words; its
gigantesque vigor is of a kind to be found nowhere but in Beethoven,
and in him only in his inspired moments.

                            [Music: score]
                             FIGURE LXII.

In this wonderful movement the Beethoven scherzo first reaches its full
stature. It may be questioned whether he ever achieved anything finer.

Yet in its own way the scherzo of the Fifth Symphony[51] is equally
original and characteristic, and as we have already analyzed two
movements of that symphony we will now make a detailed analysis of this
movement too.

                     EXAMPLE FOR ANALYSIS, No. 24.

             _Beethoven: Scherzo from the Fifth Symphony._

This scherzo is interlinked with the finale, into which it is merged
by a famous passage derived from the scherzo itself, and leading
up from the softest pianissimo to a grand outburst of the full
orchestra. We shall, however, end our analysis where this passage
begins. The complete scherzo, therefore, omitting this link-passage,
will have three hundred and thirty measures, which should be numbered
continuously for easy reference (counting the first partial measure as
one, as well as the incomplete measures at the beginning of the trio).

The theme is of a very curious character, certainly nothing like the
usual bustling scherzo theme, but on the contrary mysterious, vague,
groping. Berlioz says of it: "It is as fascinating as the gaze of
a mesmerizer." After seventeen measures of this, a more energetic,
rhythmic theme succeeds (20-45) given out by the horns, fortissimo,
with rugged chords in accompaniment, in which we recognize a new
variant of that motive of three short notes and a long, which was so
prominent in the first movement (see Chapter XII). The remainder of
the scherzo proper is worked up out of these two contrasting strains,
thus: 46-71, from the first, mysterious one; 72-97, from the second,
energetic one; 98-133, beginning softly in mystery with the first, and
later (116) continuing with it a new, more lively melody (note how the
phrase of measures 3 and 4 persists in the bass all through this part);
134-141, concluding cadence, on the second strain.

The trio, measures 142 to 238, is irresistibly ludicrous in the
elephantine antics through which the unwieldy double-basses are
put. They announce (142-148) a scrambling fugue theme, which is
"answered"--in imitation--several times at higher pitches (measures
148, 154, 156) by the other and more agile stringed instruments. A
sonorous close is reached at the double bar.

Then comes a most grotesque and amusing passage, in which, three
several times, these poor lumbering double basses hurl themselves upon
the theme, twice only to give up in despair after the first measure
and pause as if for breath. The effect of this brave attack and utter
failure to "keep up the pace" is irresistibly comic. But the third time
proverbially never fails, and in the measures following 168 they hold
to their effort with bull-dog tenacity, and succeed in reaching a safe
haven in the G of measure 173. Thereupon the theme enters once more
above them, and is once more carried through an exciting fugal chase,
the entrances, which the student should trace out carefully, occurring
in measures 176, 180, 182, and 184, each time a little higher up.
The cadence is reached in 200, and the entire passage from the inept
onslaughts of the basses is almost literally repeated (200-227), except
that now it becomes quieter and quieter, and finally leads back to the
mysterious scherzo theme (239-257).

This time the ruggedness of the second strain of the scherzo has all
disappeared, and it remains delicate, almost ethereal, through measures
258 to 330, with which the scherzo proper ends. As has been stated, no
complete pause is reached before the finale, but instead of the cadence
we have placed at the end, there is a long passage leading over into
the splendid march-like theme of the last movement. How this passage is
made out of the themes of the scherzo itself will be seen by referring
to Figure LXIII.

                            [Music: score]
                             FIGURE LXIII.

With this scherzo from the Fifth Symphony we may take our farewell of
Beethoven for the present, and also of the art in which he represents
one of the great culminating points. After him it seemed to musicians
for a while as if the triumphs of organic musical structure could no
further go, and they turned their attention in other directions, and
sought for other kinds of interest. But to follow them on these new
paths is not a part of our present undertaking.

                         IV. GENERAL SUMMARY.

We have now followed the continuous and unbroken course of the
development of music from the most primitive sounds grouped together
in rude patterns by savages, up to the symphonies of Beethoven, which
must always remain among its most wonderful and perfect monuments. We
have seen how all music, which has any beauty or interest, is based
on certain short characteristic groups of tones called motives, and
how these are made to take on variety, without losing unity, by being
"imitated," "transposed," "restated after contrast," "inverted,"
"augmented" or "diminished," "shifted in rhythm," and otherwise
manipulated. We have examined simple cases of this treatment of musical
ideas in representative folk-songs. We have seen how the polyphonic
style of Bach, in which these bits of melody occur everywhere
throughout the tissue of the music, arose and reached its perfection.
We have studied the simple dances which, adopted by the musicians of
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, were developed by them and
combined in "suites." Then, proceeding to a higher stage of artistic
evolution, we have examined the various plans which composers devised
for making longer pieces in which variety and unity were still able to
coexist--such forms as the minuet, the theme and variations, the rondo,
and the sonata-form. In conclusion, we have analyzed representative
examples of music composed in these typical forms during the great
classical period of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Yet all this study and analysis, which may often have seemed to
the reader uselessly detailed and dully scientific, has been made
with an ulterior aim in view, and unless that aim has been in some
degree attained, our work has been futile indeed. The great object
of musical analysis must always be to concentrate the attention
of the music-lover, to focus his mind as well as his ears on the
melodies, and their developments, which he hears, and so eventually
to increase his pleasure in music, and to help him to substitute for
that "drowsy reverie, relieved by nervous thrills," an active, joyful,
vigorous co-operation with composers, through which alone he can truly
appreciate their art.

That, and that alone, is the object of the analytic study of music.
For what shall it profit a man if he can tell a second theme from a
transition-passage, or a minuet from a set of variations, if he has not
meanwhile, through this exercise, got into vital contact with the music
itself? But that he can do, no matter how great his natural sensibility
to sound, only by learning how to listen.


[48] Grove's "Beethoven and His Nine Symphonies," page 35.

[49] For convenience of reference number the measures and partial
measures consecutively. There will be 69 in the scherzo proper, and 31
in the trio.

[50] The student should also study the interesting scherzo of the
Eighteenth Sonata, which is not in minuet form but in regular
sonata-form. It is carried out with immense spirit.

[51] The Fourth Symphony has again, like the First, a minuet, though a
most active one.

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